Thursday, April 21, 2005

Youngest child syndrome

When I was a kid, I used to go to my dad’s hockey games. The league he played in was recreational and largely uninterested; I mostly liked to see him dressed up in all of his equipment and run around, unattended, in the stands.

It’s funny what you remember.

I remember driving home from a game with Dad. I was thirsty; he was drinking out of his water bottle. When I asked for a sip, Dad told me to wait until we got home, because I wouldn’t like the dirty water from the locker room.

But I was really thirsty and, truth be told, really impatient. After parking in the driveway, Dad went around to the trunk for his hockey bag and I went for the water bottle.

I gagged on the beer.

I was old enough to know what it was. It scared me. I knew that drinking and driving was reckless and illegal. Dad’s decision made me angry.

I held my fear and my anger in a knot in my stomach for weeks.

A good number of years later, Meg was napping as she and Dad were driving home from one of her hockey tournaments. She woke up and Dad was drinking beer. She berated him. She told Mom when she got home. She expressed her disappointment without a hint of shame.

She did what I was too afraid to do. Meg called out what I bottled up.

And that’s always haunted me a little bit.


Stace said...

But it is ok, your dad got it from one of his girls. At least he got it right?

Mrs. Architect said...

Wow, this was a good one! SO much for writers block!

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