Growing up my sisters and I called my Dad, “Papa.” I think we did this because that is what the girls on Little House on the Prairie called Michael Landon (the dad). Now we don’t call him that so much as we just do “dad” but, I thought it was a fun way to start this blog by telling you what we called him. So in honor of the month after father's day (read: I started this on father’s day and never finished it…) I thought I would share a few thoughts/memories on my Papa.
One time Dad took me on a camping/portaging/canoeing trip in Canada. This is one of the fondest times I have ever had with my dad. We trekked across Algonquin Park carrying our canoes over land and sweeping our oars through the clear crisp Canadian water to make our way to our camp site. Along the way I have many recall times of us trying to mimic a loon call every time we saw one, hiking what seemed like 20 miles up a mountain, falling asleep/peeing my pants listening to the wolves howl in the distance, being a mere 10 feet away from a MASSIVE moose caught in the mud on a river bed, and having several bear scares throughout the trip that ended up just being tree stumps. It was a bonding trip. One distinct father memory I have from this trip was when we were in the canoe paddling through a river/swampy fairway that seemed to have no end and my dad had brought along his beloved guitar. At one part during the river/swampy fairway my cousin and I started splashing each other with the oars. My dad looked at me and said, “Don’t tip the canoe. If you tip the canoe, my guitar goes in the water and it gets ruined. I won’t be happy. I’ve had that guitar long than I’ve had you.” (oh papa...)
Another dear memory I have of my dad is when I was quite young. He would get home from work, my sisters and I always wanted to climb all over him and be around him. He would mostly be tired and lay on the floor face down trying to take a nap. Naturally, my sisters and I would then pester him by poking him, standing on him, and jumping over him. All the while my dad wouldn’t move a muscle. Eventually, rather than yelling at us and telling us to get the heck away from him my dad would play a game. A game we fondly called “monster rock.” (now that I think about it, it was kinda like calling my dad a monster and rock all rolled into one…not the most endearing thing ever but…I digress.) Basically, Papa would lay so still and steady till we could barely stand it and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he would grab as many of us as he could in one swoop and wrestle with us and tickle us till one of us eventually peed our pants or cried “uncle.”
These two memories are little snippets of the fun and joy that I had growing up in a loving household. I have lots of wonderful memories with both of my parents and I am so thankful for all that they have done for me though the years. I am looking forward to developing my relationship and more memories with both of them in the years to come as their grown up daughter and as a friend.