Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Dad, firsts and lasts

(can I just say my mom still has these chairs, but my Dad DOES NOT still have these pants- Thank goodness!)

When I was a little girl I use to spend hours and hours with my Dad. One of my best memories of being little was when my Dad preached at a little church in Velvet Ridge Arkansas. On Sunday mornings he would walk down the dusty dirt road to the church and go over his lesson. I almost always followed close behind. I was excited to get up early so I could be alone with my Dad. While he worked on his lesson and prepared I sat in a big ugly chair flipping through a big book of Norman Rockwell Art that sat on the wicker basket in his office. Sometimes he would practice his lesson out loud once in the actual church building from the pulpit and I would move in with him and hear his voice bouncing from the walls because no one was there but us. I cherished those Sunday mornings when it was just he and I and Norman Rockwell in that empty church. I’ll never forget those moments, those hours watching him preach and how special I felt that only I knew what he was going to preach about when everyone else got there. I felt like I was holding a sacred secret and I loved it.

I don’t remember the day I stopped going with my Dad to the church office. I wonder if one day I slept in because I was a tired teenager. I wonder if I spent the night with a friend, or if I just didn’t go one Sunday morning because I felt busy. I wonder how he felt. My Dad was always respectful of transitions in our lives, I wonder if he missed me when I stopped going or if he just always knew it wouldn’t last forever?

As my children grow and things change I often wonder when they will stop coming to me and I suppose it has already happened in some respects. I no longer kiss their boo-boo’s, I no longer tie their shoes, I no longer tuck them into bed at night. I can’t say I remember the last time I did any of those things for my oldest kids. I also don’t remember walking away from tucking them into their little beds thinking “I am just sure this is the very last time”. Where do time and memories go when they leave you? I wonder if all parents feel the same way.

We rarely struggle to remember the firsts, but what about the lasts? Maybe I should try to pay more attention to the things I’m doing, the choices I’m making? What if it’s the last time I get to do it? What if my Dad knew that when I was flipping through that Normal Rockwell book that it was going to be the very last time I ever did it? What would he have said to me?

1 comment:

Brandi said...

I'm hormonal, Ash, you can't do posts like this. *sniff* ;)