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!”
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!”
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.
December 9, 2013
Reactions from my kiddos, upon viewing this photo from Way Way Back:
Cat: Ohmygawsh! Look at you guys! So cute!
TD (studying the photo): Wow, Mom. You look… tired.
Cat: First of all? Rude. And B, I am pregnant with Alli in this picture, so chances are good I WAS tired, Mr. Rudesby.
Alli (suddenly way more interested): You were?! Let me see!
Mack: (holding photo out of reach) Oooh, “Hashtag Mormon Moms”! Ha ha!
Cat (grabbing the photo): You’re hilarious.
November 6, 2013
There are a few universal truths:
A pot should never call the kettle black.
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
And people with large, uncovered windows in their front and side doors shouldn’t cook dinner in their underwear (or naked, for that matter), or so I’ve tried to teach TGIM.
So just before dinner last night, when the doorbell rang, TGIM dropped the spatula he’d been wielding (manfully!) and sprinted for the stairs, yelling, “Whoa! What the…?! Someone get that! I’m in my underwear!”
Even though I was super busy laughing and yelling after him, “See?! See, TGIM?! This is why!” I could still hear Paige’s daughter Kate’s voice carrying through the house as soon as Alli opened the front door.
“Hi! Um, I’ve been standing at your side door for, like, ten minutes…”
It was dark AND I was in the next room, but I could still hear the blush in her voice.
“I didn’t know what to do…” she said, obviously holding back laughter. “I just need to pick up some rabbit food!”
(Okay. It’s not as if she hadn’t already seen him in his cycling outfit, but still.)
So, of course TGIM, once properly pantsed up (panted?), went out and got in everyone’s face, helping TD get Kate some rabbit food, all tra la la, I have pants on, it never happened, tra la la, this isn’t awkward, if I talk enough everyone will forget, la di da!
“That’s not enough. Here, have some more!” TGIM offered, shoveling more rabbit food into the bag Kate was holding.
“No, it’s okay—”
“No, no, have some more!”
“But, we only need—”
“No worries! It’s yours! We’re good here! Take it!”
After Kate drove away, fully stocked with pretty much all the rabbit food we owned, and we finally sat down to dinner, I turned to TGIM and said, “Well, I’m just glad she didn’t see you in Superman underwear or something.”
The kiddos burst into giggles when, with perfect composure, TGIM replied, “Yesterday, she would have.”
August 30, 2013
Overheard conversation between my 15-year-old daughter and one of her friends:
Mack: Yeah, she was with me when I drank, like, four bottles of Mountain Dew.
Mack’s Friend: Well, that can’t be good for you!
Mack: I know, but, you know, that’s what all cool kids are drinking these days…
Mack’s Friend: No, the cool kids are drinking something else.
And B, is it strange that this quick, completely random conversation caused a sudden and unreasonably powerful surge of happiness within me?
August 2, 2013
Okay. I admit. I’m a worrier. I worry! About things! Okay, about all the things! You know how people can read a book and put it down. Me? I read the seventh Harry Potter book in one night. ONE NIGHT! That freaking book is a bajillion pages long! But I had to KNOW. Honestly. And don’t even get me started on how stressed out I get when I do an Alias or Veronica Mars marathon! (Cliffhangers are evil. I’m only saying.) It can take me literally hours to stop worrying about the characters in which I have invested my time. I feel their pain, their joy, their despair, their triumphs. So you can imagine the impressive scope of my worrying abilities when real people are involved.
All I’m saying is I may–perhaps!–be known to freak out on occasion. So, want to know what will for sure freak out the momma? But also totally make her proud? Effectively causing her to both freak the freak out AND fairly burst with pride?
Super proud, TD! Just remember, son. Myocardial infarction is no one’s friend.