Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why Going "Crazy" Is One of the Best Things Dad Ever Did

When I was a kid and I realized Dad was on his way out the door on his day off, I would ask him where he was going.  His answer, without fail, was, "Going Crazy."

This, of course, was alarming and confusing to my young self.  What could that possibly mean?! He looked perfectly OK.  He was acting perfectly OK -- aside from the mysterious air about him and a half grin that graced his face.

I soon learned that Dad was on his way out to do his own thing and basically have time to himself -- probably because if he didn't he would literally go crazy. Or he was going crazy cooped up in the house, so he needed to get out.  I couldn't possibly understand what (or who) he could be getting away from, but who understands why parents do the things they do anyway?  Not my little eight year old self.

This routine happened weekly.  I could never figure out what was involved with "goin' crazy."  But I know I wanted to go.  I would often ask if I could go.  Usually the answer was, "Not this time."

One day though, much to my amazement and delight, Dad told me to put on my shoes and coat because I was getting to go with him.  I was gonna get to "go crazy" with Dad?!   Didn't have to ask me twice!  I couldn't wait to see what in the world he did when he went "crazy."

He took me to breakfast.  We swung by a second hand shop to check out what was new.  Probably got gas and stopped at the store to pick up dinner fixin's too.

At first, while I loved going out to eat, I was disappointed.  THIS was what he did when he went crazy?  I mean, THAT was it?  That was all he did?!

No sliding boards?  No movie and a popcorn?  No secret agent-like activities requiring binoculars, duct tape or twist ties?!

Um. Evidently, I was under the impression that my dad was McGyver.

After a few times of "goin' crazy," I realized that it wasn't what we did together, but that we were together that mattered.  We talked a lot -- Okay, okay I talked a lot -- in between licking donut icing off of our fingers.  Sometimes we did crossword puzzles while eating bagels and sipping hot chocolate or coffee.  We often found deals at the second hand shop too.

It was during those times together that I learned so much about life's details like when it's OK to turn right on red, why our blood looks blue under our skin, and that dad likes his eggs over medium and his coffee "sweet and blonde."

It was also when I learned about big things like the fact that love isn't the squishy somersaults that your stomach attempts when a cute boy suddenly notices you exist.  It's where I first learned about commitments and keeping vows.

Dad sacrificed his time to spend time with me. It was an amazing way to show me love.  And I cherish each of those times.

When I the kids and I visit my parents, and we see him putting on his coat, he is invariably asked, "Where ya goin', Poppy?"  His answer is always, "Goin' Crazy."

And sometimes he even takes one of us with him.

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