“Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad.” – Unknown
I can’t tell you how true this statement is. My wonderfulness can only be ascribed to the very first man in my life. The one who could never really stay mad at me (at least not for very long) and let me get away with much more than I probably should have been.
Except for the crepe incident of 1981 (I’m just guessing at the date for recounting purposes).
I was a pretty little girl, full of humour and good intentions; an angel really. I sat in the kitchen, one week day night, setting the table and ensuring that all was ready for dinner. Time was short as I had the one and only extracurricular activity I was enrolled in. No not skeet shooting or mortal combat but the very robust sport of Baton Twirling. The precision and concentration required a mental capacity that not all can comprehend nor excel at. I was a star of course.
But I digress.
On this particular night, my father decided at last minute to make dessert. If you know the General at all, you would know that he isn’t a big fan of desserts. He is allergic to chocolate and doesn’t enjoy most other delightful confections. Not this night, however, he decided to spoil the family with homemade crepes. Oh, the blending, the whisking, the measuring and the swirling of this delicate batter to present us with the most delicious of creations.
Of course, I was impatient. In my defense, not for the final product but rather because he decided to tackle such an ambitious project 5 minutes before I was to leave to walk to my practice.
I don’t even think I was served first! Knowing my dad, he probably wanted to get my mom’s opinion before serving the most precious one (me, in case you had doubts) an in-dubious final product.
So I waited, fidgeting, begging and being ignored. The door bell rings, my friend arrives to pick me up.
“Daddy, can I please have this most delicious crepe when I arrive home from my very arduous practice. I would appreciate it from the bottom of my tiny child heart.” (Or something like that)
“No” roars the very mean authoritarian man who replaced my sweet papa. “You will sit there until you finish your plate!”
In a desperate but inventive move, I swiftly stuffed the entire confectioners sweet in my mouth. In hindsight, the horrified looks on my mom and brother should have warned me. I took no heed as I choked it back and gathered my belongings.
The silence was deafening, forcing me to look up and lock eyes with the devil incarnate. My father looks at me and says in a voice that still to this day, brings forth, feelings of hell and damnation. “How rude. I will never make crepes again.”
How was I to know that this was a man that would keep his word?
We may have had tiny disagreements over the years but never the same depth as the ill fated crepe night.
I love you for your integrity and for your strength. How could I not; for I am your daughter.
Happy birthday Papa.
P.S. In these self quarantined times, please note that Nana and Papa live with us in between moving out to the lake. They just finished their 14 day isolation period at a local Airbnb.