I thought I'd rerun this post, since it's Father's Day and all. Happy Father's Day, y'all!
It being Father's Day, I would like to apologize for the following transgressions over the past 43.11 years:
I am sorry for the time I called you on April Fool's Day and told you I joined the Army.
I apologize for the years I begged to get my ears pierced, and when you finally relented, I further apologize for taking the trainer earrings out early, forcing you to wrench the posts back in while I lay my sweaty head on your lap and screamed.
I heartily regret forcing you to wear the sombrero in Cancun.
I am sorry for calling you, crying hysterically, about every boy I broke up with between 1980 and 1996.
But most of all, I am sorry about the wind incident. Which I will recap for our readers.
I was small for my age. I think that is why when I currently get into my higher weights, I do not really notice it. All my childhood and teen years, I heard about how teeny I was.
I am 17 in this picture.
Really, though, it's hardly fair to compare my size to the giant that is my father. My mother is I think 5'2" and twice she married men well over 6 feet. I do not think this is fair to all the 5'11" women out there, and have told her so many times.
(What was up with our total lack of foliage in the yard? Was this a 1960s thing? Maybe this is why I find my current yard over landscaped. I am used to miniature golf courses for front yards.)
Getting back to my tale, I was three or four, probably, and my best friend--faithful reader and commenter Pal from MA--lived around the corner. I do not know why her parents named her that, particularly given that we lived in MI, not MA.
There was only one house between mine and Pal from MA's, but as I said it was a corner house, so it was quite a trek when you're 2 feet tall.
One wintry Saturday I decided to do as I did every day and head on over there for a captivating day of playing house or whatever you do when you're three. I know nowadays no parent would let their tiny kid just walk over to a friend's, but it was no big deal then. You just played outside randomly throughout the neighborhood and your parents kind of knew where you where, and nothing bad ever happened.
So as I walked over there, I noticed it was pretty windy. My hair was being blown straight back, the trees were bending, my hands were cold. So I headed back home and knocked on our door.
My father came to the door. "What are you doing?" he asked me. He had been in the basement watching a sporting event. "I got lost," I told him.
"What are you TALKING about? You go to Pal from MA's house every day. You walk around the corner and you're there." He shut the door.
So I headed out again. The wind whistled in my ears. Leaves blew across the yard.
I went home. Knock knock knock.
He answered the door again. I remember he had no shoes on, and his feet were getting red from the cold outside. "I got lost again," I told my father. "June, you can see her house from here," he said, pointing through our back yard. "It's RIGHT THERE. Go!" He shut the door.
I headed out again to the sound of the wind, my lips blowing back like a G-force pilot.
Knock knock knock. I don't know why I kept knocking at my own house instead of just going in.
"June, WHAT is going on?" my father asked. "I got lost again," I told him, tearing up. This time he wasn't having it.
"I know you're not getting lost. You know where Pal from MA lives. I'm tired of coming upstairs to answer the door. WHAT IS GOING ON?"
I started to cry. "I'm afraid the wind is going to pick me up and carry me away," I wailed.
People used to always say to me, "June, you're so small, if a big gust of wind came up it'd carry you away." Well, there it was. Big gust of wind day. I could see myself whisked up over the city, tumbling past Pal from MA's house like the dead leaves. Oh, it was horrifying. And yet I also knew this was stupid as all get-out, and that it couldn't really happen. Could it?
My father took me inside. We went to my piggy bank. Whenever my father had pennies, he'd give them to me. We dumped that bank upside-down, and he filled my pockets with pennies. "Now you weigh more," he said. "The wind can't get you."
And, full of copper and confidence, I jingled over to Pal from MA's.
So, happy Father's Day, father. Sorry for being such a lightweight over the years. A lightweight who didn't really join the Army.