My father and I have had an evening ritual for the past eight or so months. When he awakens from his nap, I invite him into his kitchen for our little party of drinking water and free form dancing while I prepare the meal. Our favorite CD holds many hits by Peggy Lee from the 1950’s. Fever; It’s a Good Day; I’m a Woman; and Hallelujah, I Love Him So are just a few. It’s a lighthearted half hour, as we dance and laugh together.
This evening, he danced over to where I was cutting vegetables at the counter top. He pointed to the pile of summer squash, asking, “What’s that?” This kind of question used to twang my heart, that something he used to know well has become a mystery. In this case, it was something he used to grow every summer in his garden.
“It’s squash, and I’m going to steam it,” I replied. “I remember the first time I had yellow squash, Daddy. Because it looked different, I didn’t want to eat it. You told me I would like it because it tasted just like mashed potatoes. So, I ate it and have loved it ever since – even though it has never ever tasted like mashed potatoes.” We both laughed.
“As far as I know,” I told him, “that was the only lie you ever told me.” We laughed some more and we resumed our dancing.
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When I decided to share this vignette with you, it reminded me of the engaging and endearing true stories shared by ten writers in Parent-Child Memories: Love Revealed.