a little fathers' day reminisce

a little fathers' day reminisce

When I was growing up and in grade school, my mom and dad both worked. My mom had the more “regular” job, while my dad was a weatherizer for a non-profit and kind of set his own work hours.
In addition to my sibs and me seeing my dad more often, he was also more often the one to take the place of “mom” on various occasions. My mom’s workplace was 2 hours away and often spent a couple days a week at a friend’s so as not to spend 4 hours a day commuting. I don’t hold this against my mom at all – she had to do what she had to do and she was around a lot when I was older. Plus, it meant I got to see a lot of my dad.
So dad did the cooking and a lot of the cleaning and many household chores (and my sibs and I did chores too, but 4 kids under 11, the youngest 3, don’t get much done).
As is always inevitable during grade school, there were many field trips to be made and adventures to be had. My family wasn’t the most prosperous on the block at the time, but we did have enough cash to send me on classroom diversions. And when those times came up, there was the obvious “whose mom is going to help chaperone” question the teachers would pose.
I always volunteered my dad. And he went! Because he was able to set his own hours, he was able to take time off and go on class trips with me. So there was almost always Nicki’s mom (Maureen, who is cool) and once in a while Beth’s mom, or Ellie’s mom, or Bryan C.’s mom, Jeni’s mom, or maybe that time it was Bryan H.’s mom…. and my dad.
One such occasion I remember was the trip to Fort Snelling. I think it was fifth grade, and my dad was, of course, riding on the yellow school bus with us, perhaps finishing the crossword or talking to Maureen about her husband’s photography business. I never sat with my dad, I think because I thought I was too cool? Looking back, I’m not quite sure.
The bus driver got lost. In the cities. He was driving around and there was a whispered rumor that he didn’t know where he was going or that he had missed an exit. Well, rumor was truth in this case; the driver was lost and this put a pallor over the busload. Were we ever going to get to Fort Snelling?
Then….
My dad stood up. I was sitting kitty corner from him in a seat with jenny. Had he caught wind of the lost rumor, or was my dad so well versed in directional aptitude that he automatically knew the driver was lost the second he missed the exit? My guess is B.
He yelled at the driver to get his attention and a hush went over the busload of 10- and 11-year-olds. Everyone was staring at him, and I felt my cheeks turn red at the attention directed toward my father.
Well, needless to say, daddio yelled directions, rather forcefully, at the driver. I think he was rather annoyed by the fact that this yahoo had driven a bus full of kids into the cities without knowing how to get to his destination. All was said and done directions-wise, dad sat back in his seat and continued his crossword or conversation with Maureen, and kids’ whispers crescendoed into regular noisemaking of 10- and 11-year-olds.
My cheeks returned to their normal color and jenny looked at me wide-eyed, obviously impressed. Rumors once again circulated the bus, this time with the news that my dad was pretty cool after all.
Who knows, if my dad hadn’t been along chaperoning on that field trip, we might STILL be driving around the cities.  😉

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.