A Very Special Father’s Day Story Time

June 15, 2014

(I wrote this several years ago, but it’s one of my favorite memories of my dad, so… here you go!)

When I was 16 and used to cheerlead at the basketball games (Whatever. Like you hadn’t already totally figured that out about me…), we had this SUPER cute call-back cheer we did, you know, to encourage crowd involvement and overall school spirit and shizz? We would turn to the crowd and shout out, “Hey, Badgers! How do you feel?!” and they would stand up and shout back, “We feel good! Oh! We feel so good! UH!” with an exuberant hip thrust thrown in. It was awesome. Because an enthusiastic and well-executed community hip thrust is the ultimate in school spirit, y’all. It’s, like, cheerleading GOLD. No, seriously. A thing of beauty. And crowds of hyped-up teenagers LOVE that crap. Ask anyone.

Anywhos, my father, in all his cuteness, would sit in the crowd waiting anxiously for a lull. And when that lull inevitably came, as lulls inevitably DO, he would stand in the bleachers, cup his hands around his mouth, and shout out, “HEEEEEEEEEYYYY! CHEEEEEEEERRLEADEEERS! HOW! DO! YOU! FEEEEEEEEEL?!”

Well, of course, we had to turn to the crowd and shout back, “We feel good! Oh! We feel so good! UH!”– hip thrust and all. It was required. I mean, we couldn’t just ignore it. That would be sacrilege, right? And WAY rude.

My cheer friends would giggle as we turned back to the game and whisper to me, “You’re dad is so cute!”

Cute, huh?

A moment later, a familiar voice would again echo across the courts, “HEEEEEEEEEYYYY! CHEEEEEEEERRLEADEEERS! HOW! DO! YOU! FEEEEEEEEEL?!”

We would look at each other and shrug. Well, I may have rolled my eyes. Perhaps.

“We feel good! Oh! We feel so good! UH!”

After the fifth time my lovely padre would stand in the bleachers and shout, in, oh, say, a FIVE MINUTE TIME FRAME, my “Uh!” would be more like an “AAARRRGGGGHHH!” and my face would be burning as with the fiery hot flames of the damned and I would cheer– oh yes, I would!– whilst smilingly planning imminent retribution in the form of Chinese water torture or perhaps The Sneer.

Cute, Dad. REAL CUTE.

Thinking back, I guess I should just be thankful the man was not up on his pop culture and was therefore oblivious to the thrall of “We Will Rock You” or we’d have had him stomping in the stands screaming, “You got mud on yo’ face! You big disgrace! Kickin’ your can all over the place!”

*shudder*

Funny thing is, my friends honestly thought it was cute. They would often tease me about how funny and cute they thought my dad was. And though I would not have admitted it for all the Aqua Net and hair crimping irons in Prescott, nay, nor for all the fluorescent gel-strapped Swatch watches in Switzerland (or as many as I could cram onto one, thin little wrist, anyway…), truthfully? Though I would not have breathed a word then, it always made me feel happy– special– that he was there, watching. Paying attention. Being my dad. And though I often sneered, and was all, “Daaaaaaaaad! STOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!” and wished for the earth to swallow me up the frickin’ TWELFTH time he would shout “Hey, Cheerleaders!” at us, I never loved him more.

So, Dad? When my children complain about me screaming, “Woo-hoo! You GO, girl! Drop it like it’s HAWT!” at their ballet recitals, or “Oh, YES! He got GAME!” at chess club tournaments, I will make sure they know that I only do it because I love them and it is ALL YOUR FAULT.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.