Our sweetie pies

Our sweetie pies

Monday, March 7, 2011

who's on first, what's on second, I don't know's on third...

My dad used to always refer to me as "sweetie" or "honey". At the time, it used to bother me. I remember saying one day "why can't you call me by my name?!" what an arrogant little kid I was. Of course, what I would give now for him to look at me lovingly and call me "sweetie".

One of his favorite old songs was "let me call you sweetheart..." He used to play an old honkey tonked piano in the basement of the house that he had grown up in. I remember my brother and I examining the honkey tonked piano. thumbtacks had been put in the back of each piano key so that when it struck inside the piano, it made the classic honkey tonk sound. His family used to hold parties all the time at that house they grew up in and the basement was where my dad and his friends and cousins would hang out. we, as the grandkids, got to spend different summers out there in Wisconsin and enjoy hanging out in that same room and hearing about the stories of "back when..."

The weather is so different in Wisconsin then it is in California. It would be humid and hot and sticky and your body would attract mosquitoes. we would hang out on the screened in porch and drink lemonade. Then when we were brave, we would venture out to the expansive, freshly mowed backyard and play and run and then get sweaty and sticky and hot and return to the nice cool house.

I remember wandering through that house, looking at trinkets and the paintings on the wall, trying to absorb my dad's life that I was not part of when he was growing up. I remember the Bugles, the crackers that we would only find to eat in their kitchen pantry, not ours at home. or the box of special k cereal that my grandma would always eat. something so mundane but special because it was part of them, it represented them.

That house has been sold now. I haven't been back to wisconsin since my grandfather's funeral. But all of those special memories are still fresh. my dad had a black and white photo hanging in his home office over his desk that he had taken of that house that he had grown up in. My parents still followed the green bay packers in honor of wisconson and a bucky badger flag was hanging in their house too. I raised as someone from Wisconsin even though only my older brother was actually born in Wisconsin. I didn't even know that I had a wisconsin accent until one day in 7th grade a friend pointed out to me that I said words differently then a native Californian would. darn those wisconites!

maybe that was the point when I decided being raised by these people was no longer cool. I had fair Nordic skin that didn't tan at the beach like all the other Southern California kids in school. I was raised on old radio shows and not only knew who George Burns and Gracie Allen were but laughed at their jokes. My brother and I memorized the comedy skit "who's on first" and performed it for a group at a retirement home. I remember my brother setting up the old movie projector in our garage and having the neighborhood kids come and watch Laurel and Hardy films.

My dad was creating a legacy. He was teaching us what he knew. He had a great time growing up in the era of the 1940's and 1950's and wanted to us share in what he knew too.

When I went to summer camp in middle school, my camp counselor thought I was the coolest kid because I knew all these old comedy skits. when I went to another church event, another kid complemented me on my freckles. my uniqueness that I thought made me strange was beginning to shine for me and get me noticed in a good way.

what makes us different can be the very thing that makes us special.

and then there is my sweetie. Now you know. in honor of my dad, she is now my sweetie. she has had a hard journey in her meager three years.

She was born a preemie at 33 weeks. She was a hefty 4 pounds 15 oz at 33 weeks. that was a good thing. However she suffered from Apnea four times which means she stopped breathing four separate times in the hospital. Each time, a nurse revived her and told me it was okay. it happens. She had to stay in the NICU for those four weeks until the doctors felt confident she would not have apnea anymore.

Then through her first year, she kept getting bronchitis. we were given a nebulizer to use to help her breathe and she was put on antibiotics and steroids. The doctor thought for sure she had asthma. But then it did seem to finally clear up and she hasn't had any problems with her breathing or heavy coughs for the last two years now.

Then her speech came slow. She stayed quiet a lot and when she did speak she was hard to understand. and now diabetes. and she is only 3!

All of these things that may add up to be "problems" or "that's too bads" may turn around and become "wows!" and "that's amazings!" someday.

Her name means "cherished one" and that she is. she is our little sweetie pie and we know that God has great things in store for her just as he did for me when I was an awkward middle schooler that talked like a wisconsoner. Maybe someday she will grow up to talk about her crazy mother that sat up typing every night into the wee hours about that old forgotten disease that everyone gets vaccinated against today.

1 comment:

  1. It is wonderful to look back on those treasured memories! Sounds like it was a lot of fun in that Wisconsin yard during the summer time.

    Writing about it will give your kids a "picture" of what it was like...and maybe one day you'll take your "sweetie" and the whole family back to enjoy some summertime there too.