Over the past month or so, I've started listening to songs with the girls before bed. We'll say our prayers, get snuggled in and then listen to a relaxing song or two, depending on the time. If it's two songs, we each get to pick one. This actually started with Littlest. One day she wanted to listen to a Sarah McLachlan song. If you knew me in the '90's when I was going to the Lilith Fair festivals, you would know that this is a weak spot for me. So we spent the next several nights drifting off to sleep while Sarah sang about being in the arms of an angel. Pretty relaxing.
Eventually the other girls caught wind of this and they wanted in on the action. I was filled with shock and awe and pride when the first song Middlest ever wanted to listen to was 'Boy named Sue.' Maybe not the most relaxing, but she asked for Johnny Cash! How could I refuse that. It all worked out when I played her some Sarah after. A few days later she asked to hear 'Perfect.' Without missing a beat, I said, 'One Direction?' Why do I know that?!
As time goes on, I'm having to dig a bit deeper into my musical vaults to find calm and soothing songs. My sister would be happy to know that there has been some Corey Hart lately and that he has been pleasantly received. Except for a few years of teenage denial, I've always liked Corey Hart. I even owned Boy in the Box. After that, my sister bought all his albums, so there was no reason for me to. But I do have his greatest hits on CD and now on iTunes.
After Littlest and I listened to 'Chase the Sun' one night, she wanted to know what he looked like. So I showed her the album cover. Then she wanted to know what he looked like when he smiled (she felt it was a very serious picture). So we did a quick google image search. As it turns out, I don't believe Corey Hart smiled during the eighties. He was too busy perfecting the brooding look I guess. We did find a picture from 2011 with a slight smile, but definitely no teeth. Littlest then decided that he must be a very serious person. She said, 'I wonder why he doesn't smile more. He should. I smile all the time.' I replied, 'Yes, yes you do. And I love it. Goodnight.'
I don't want to name any names for this next story, just so I don't embarrass anyone. This way they can all deny it. We were laying there listening to the smooth sounds of 'Never Surrender', the child with her eyes closed and me rubbing her back. Then a hand came up to her face, a finger came out, gave a little poke in her nose and then went into her mouth. I snickered. 'Having a little night lunch?' I asked. She wondered what I was talking about and I told her what I witnessed. Then she giggled a bit and closed her eyes again. We laid there a few more minutes and then she asked, 'Dad, do boogers have sugar bugs?' There's a question I didn't ever anticipate answering. Looking back, maybe I should have answered yes, it might have been a deterrent. But then it probably would have meant a trip back to the bathroom to brush teeth again. I simply giggled to myself, said no and kissed her forehead goodnight. Later.
Tuesday, 7 June 2016
There are a lot of songs out there, especially country ones, that deal with death and losing someone. Until you are faced with that situation, they don't stand out as much. 'Over you', 'I drive your truck', 'Drink a beer', were all just good songs until we lost Dad. Since then there have been many nights walking the dog that I have cried a bit while listening to these and other songs.
There are some songs that aren't specifically about dying that strike a chord too. 'Hasn't hit me yet' comes to mind. There is another one by an east coast Canadian singer that goes like this:
'Winter came a bit too soon,
I sure miss saying goodbye to you.'
- Seasons by Andy Brown
It seems like a weird thing to miss, but I do. Whenever anyone of us would leave mom and dad's, he would always come outside to see us off. Weather didn't matter. Middle of winter, he would get dressed up, come outside, wave and stand there till we were out of sight. Even near the end when it obviously wasn't easy to manage the stairs, he still came out. It was something that was important to him. I don't think I'll ever stop missing that.
Today is Dad's first birthday that he's not here to celebrate. Last year we were still able to enjoy a big party with him. This year we're left with the many memories we have. Waffles. Music. Stories. A good beer. The way he put everything in God's hands. The way I would call him and ask what he was doing today and he would always say 'nothing.' Then we would talk for twenty minutes or half an hour about nothing.
I made waffles on the weekend and Biggest helped me. We dirtied three bowls, folded in egg whites and listened to Johnny Cash and Johnny Horton on vinyl. Making new memories and keeping old ones alive.
Happy birthday Dad. I miss you. I'll see you again. Later.
Saturday, 4 June 2016
Last weekend we had the opportunity to go to Saskatoon. We had some appointments scheduled for Friday and then stayed over till Saturday. It's always nice to go back and reconnect with friends. We went and hung out by the river for a while. Walked on the train bridge. Watched the pelicans. Saw a beaver. Posed for a picture.
We came home Saturday evening and went to church Sunday morning. Now most of my funny stories here involve the girls but I have to tell one from Sunday school. I teach grade 5 and 6 boys so it is often interesting. The story talked about a man storing up stuff here on earth and God called him a fool. I asked why God called the man a fool. The first response I had was, 'Because it's nicer than calling him an idiot.' True. Not quite what I was looking for, but true nonetheless.
This came in the mail this week too:
My awesome wife ordered it as soon as she saw 'chewbacca mom's' video online. It is pretty awesome. I surprised a couple of coworkers with it as well.
This weekend Julie is in Phoenix with her cousin, so it's just me, the dog, two cats and three girls. I'm doing my best to make it a fun weekend to they don't miss mom too much. We started by getting slurpies after school yesterday. That was followed by hotdogs, chips and pop for supper. Yum yum.
This morning we went swimming. There is only one indoor pool in Lloydminster for about 30000 people. It has a water slide and a wave pool that goes off once every hour. I checked last night and the Saturday hours are 9-9. Perfect. Everyone was up well before 7, so we had no problem making it there by 9:30. We were the only ones in the pool! We left around 10:30 and still the only ones! 30000 people and not one other person at the pool except us (and a couple geriatric people swimming lanes). It was strange indeed.
From there we headed outside to a family fun day in the park.
There were horse carriage rides. Here is the view from the cockpit. I sat beside a nice old fellow who told me about his 14 miniature horses (and two babies) and the nice weather this year. Last year's ride was incredibly hot and the yer before that it snowed! Early June in Canada I guess.
We rounded off the day with a movie and fairly early bed time. Now it's just me and the hound dog, chilling on the bed. It's hard work being fun dad all day long. One more day to go though, so I guess I better rest up. Later.
There was also a petting zoo. I use the word zoo loosely. A bunch of animals and kids crammed under a tent would be a more accurate description but I don't think it would look as good on the sign. And who can resist a good goat?
There was also a train ride. And by train ride I mean a bunch of barrels on wheels pulled by an atv. But again, doesn't sound quite as good. Nevertheless, it was one of the highlights of the day. The older two said they were happy to ditch me for 5 minutes. I didn't have the heart to tell them that the feeling may have been mutual.