Sometimes, I think there is a show being written about my family. I know at any minute someone is going to pop out of the bushes and yell “cut!” or maybe just tell me that was best take ever. I really wish someone had been around my folks house yesterday getting all on video. Since there was no one hiding, I’ll tell you about it…right after I tell you about my dad.
Growing up, I swear I had the meanest, most strict dad in the universe. At least, I was sure I did. I couldn’t get phone calls from boys, he embarrassed me to pieces. When I hung up my Sean Astin posters, ahem, I was afraid he was going to say something to make me take them down. They were near my Lord of the Rings poster and calendar, NO LIE, how funny is that now? Ha, but anyway. So he was a bit overprotective. JUST a BIT.
I was told to do “girly” things and not mess up my knees riding a bike (we didn’t do helmets, knee pads, or bubble wrap on you back then), and of course, I might have done some stunts on my bike once or twice. We were ALWAYS outside. Imagine that. And I wanted to learn to skateboard after my brother got one for Christmas, but I might get hurt and girls didn’t ride skateboards. Says dad. I couldn’t ride the riding lawnmower, YES, this was a sore spot, because girls didn’t do that. He taught my brother.
But maybe, just maybe, it was because he loved me and wanted to keep me safe. I didn’t see it that way. I distinctly remember calling him a “male chauvinist pig” one day and perhaps oinking at him. But he was okay with that. He played games with us, took us places, and pretty much tolerated every crazy thing I did. I hiked in the woods all day and came back looking like a Lord of the Flies reject. My mom had to cut burrs out of my hair once. I had a leech on me once, ewww. And ticks and chiggers and mosquito bites, and umm even a snake bit me once. Long story on that one.
So I actually was a mess. I have two girls now, go figure, and my mom said “I hope you have one just like YOU.” Like it was an omen. You could hear it echoing after it was spoken like Maleficent had just visited me. So my pop wanted the girls to spend the whole weekend with him. Plus my brother’s daughter spent one night. Okay dad, you asked for it. They were having a rousing game of hide and go seek, a favorite among the girls, and my oldest daughter, who happens to look exactly like me, was hiding behind my dad’s hot tub. They saw him coming, so she ducked down and must have hit the flap. According to her, all of a sudden, wasps came out of no where and started attacking her. She was screaming bloody murder and the top of her lungs, but thank God she only got stung 2 times because my mom said it was horrible.
Long hair can be a pain sometimes and one was apparently even caught in her hair. Anyway, she got inside as did the little ones, and my dad apparently went ballistic. From what I was told, he ran outside with a broom and was screaming to the top of his lungs “Nobody hurts my granddaughter” and began smashing the wasps in a fit of rage. I am actually laughing as I type this. Sorry. Ahem. So here is my dad, with his giant bouffant of white hair, beating wasps to death with his broom, yelling at them, and the girls are watching from inside. Bwahahaha. I mean, it was serious. He apparently broke his broom in two, and my mom was yelling “step on them!!!” and the girls were just staring in shock I think. They had no idea about “overprotective” poppop. They had NOOOO idea. So after it was all said and done, mom says and then your dad was holding his eye and going “my eyeee, I got stung” and I was ahem, laughing. She thought he was kidding, but he really wasn’t.
So my youngest runs to Google, you know that extended family member who knows everything, and Google says to use vinegar. Good ole’ Google. So the next time I think about how “overprotective” my dad was, I will remember this story. This one takes the cake. Ha.