Sunday morning, I sat on the couch watching the Father's Day episode of CBS Sunday Morning I had in the DVR because this week's episode seemed to be all re-run stories. Steve Hartman was doing a story about moving his dad out of the family home. It was right around this time when Michael wandered out of his room. He looked at the TV and then asked if there were any good stories on today. I looked at him wide eyed and attempted to squeak out something about not being able to talk and then a sob bubbled up and out. I dissolved into a puddle of tears, leaving Michael standing there with a what-just-happened look on his face. I pulled myself together quickly, but it would be hours and hours before I could tell him about Steve Hartman talking to his dad about the house he had built for them all those years ago and going through all the old memories that house contained, deciding what to keep and what to throw away.
I didn't do a Fathers' Day post here like I did for Mothers' Day. Mostly the reason I didn't write then was because I was still on vacation. I conveniently used it as an excuse to ignore the day. I'd given Michael his gift last month. His bicycle needed a new wheel and seat and I figured the sooner those things got replaced the better. Riding his bicycle is his yoga. I wished Michael a Happy Fathers's Day that morning and then went on with my day trying not to be bitter about not being able to call my dad and wish him a Happy Fathers' Day too. Dad will be gone a full year in August, though more than that really if you consider how the disease took his mind. Fathers' Day is hard now just like birthdays and anniversaries. There's a part of me that scrolled facebook on that day feeling pitiful as I looked at everyone's postings of pictures with their dads. It's easy to become bitter and begrudge others' happiness, so I looked away. Really. I'm glad you can still celebrate Fathers' Day with your dad or at least give him a call and send him a tie.
This is what I would have told my dad on Fathers' Day this year. After years and years, my whole life really, of hearing about boiled peanuts and seeing them in every convenient store during every visit to Mississippi, I have finally tried one. Michael kept seeing them at every gas station we stopped in starting around Memphis. He'd never heard of them and kept asking me about them. I told Michael that I'd never tried one, that the idea of peeling open a soggy peanut disturbed me. Dad, I told Michael about all the times people asked you if you sold boiled peanuts and how you would make a face before politely saying "no". I told Michael that you had always warned me against them, but curiosity got the best of Michael which resulted in all three of us trying our first boiled peanut. And Dad? They are awful. The worst. Weeks later and I still have the memory of the horrid taste in my mouth. You were right to warn me. You were right to convince me that roasted peanuts are far more superior than boiled ones. Even when I was trying it, I knew you were right, but I was setting an example for a four year old who has a hard time trying new things. I have regrets for letting her try it, but it was her idea. Once she saw Michael trying one, she wanted one too. So there.
Dad, you were right about boiled peanuts. Also...I miss you.