Daddy

Daddy: (n) diminutive of Dad

Approaching my produce man at the grocery store, I asked:

“When is watermelon season?”

Without thinking, he replied, “When the watermelon show up.”

I suppose when you practically live in a grocery store, you judge the seasons by what comes off the back of the truck.

In the midst of being a parent, there is a brief vapor of time when your child recognizes you, proclaims you and refers to you as “Daddy.”

It is such a safe, sweet location that you’re tempted to encourage it to expand its borders to broader vistas.

But you can’t mess with it.

It happens during a child’s perfect age–when “Dada” has been abandoned and right before you become the generic “Dad.”

Just hearing the word lets you know how valuable you are to the child.

It gives you a reassuring hug in your soul that he is not plotting, smoking, drinking and thinking of new ways to download pornography.

For after all, you are “Daddy”—”Dada” who has become so familiar that you have gained shape and presence.

Sometimes the word “Daddy” is followed by the young child climbing up on your lap, and without being prompted, giving you a hug around the neck, which lasts a little bit longer than you thought possible.

The little one calling you Daddy believes you to be a god (or at least, Santa Claus’s right-hand man).

He is astounded at how you leave the house and come back with treasures—toys, pizza rolls and little tiny things you promised you’d get if you had time.

Daddy—a word that brings tears to the eyes of any father who knows that soon his power and authority will be challenged by the revolt of adolescence.

But for now, it’s Daddy.

For now, there’s a desire to be close.

For now, the child believes he has come from you and never wants to leave.

Maybe that’s why the Bible tells us that we should approach God by saying, “Abba, Abba.”

Which, by the way, translated from the Greek, means “Daddy, Daddy.”

 

Curmudgeon

Cumudgeon: (n) a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person.

 

Throwing water on the fire of someone’s excitement.

Refusing to discuss an important issue because you find it inappropriate to the surroundings.

Asking people to take off their hat when they visit your church.

Frowning at a young mother in a store because her children are misbehaving.

Failing to respond to “have a nice day.”

Criticizing young people because you do not understand their culture.

Making fun of technology because, somehow or another, you think you were smarter with pencils, paper clips and glue.

Talking about your generation as being superior to another generation.

Refusing to let someone who has two items go ahead of you in the grocery checkout, when you have one thousand.

Acting confused about why young people are “so goddamn horny.”

Telling your mechanic that forty years ago, you got a fuel pump put in your car for eighteen dollars.

Asking the pastor of your church to turn down the PA system and not have guitars during the worship service.

Voting for a candidate you know will keep everything the same because change angers you.

Choosing to go down a different aisle at the department store because people of color are there, and you don’t know how to talk to them.

Yelling at kids because they don’t pick up their toys.

Yelling at the toys that you step on, wishing you could hit the kids.

Claiming that special occasions are not necessary for you because you don’t like all the fuss.

Watching a movie and insisting on talking about another one which you saw thirty years ago.

Sticking your nose up at a new food choice because you think it looks funny or the name sounds foreign.

Seeing old people and assuming they are mean.

There are many ways to be a curmudgeon.

Unfortunately, the list is growing.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Aloe Vera

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aloe Vera: (n) a gelatinous substance obtained from a kind of aloe, used especially in cosmetics as an emollient and for the treatment of burns.

My mother was obsessive.

I do not say that in a judgmental tone. Perhaps a certain amount of obsession is necessary to maintain maternal energy. I’m not sure.

But what she would often do was obsess over some idea, totally selling out her soul in that direction–until a new revelation made its way onto the horizon, which she embraced with equal fervor, although the past experience did not necessarily warrant such enthusiasm.

She went through an aloe phase.

She encountered someone who had an aloe plant and became so enthralled with the idea–that it was used in ancient times as a healing agent, and even appeared in the Bible, which gave it credibility and supernatural implications–that she decided to grow her own aloe plant.

It would be difficult to describe how much she fussed over the sprout. I thought she was going to expel a kidney in her anticipation of it completing its cycle and birthing the pods which contained the magic ointment.

Then–a problem. For you see, the aloe plant produces an ointment which is very helpful for treating burns or cuts. At least, that’s the promo. So once her plant had grown, she found herself in the uncomfortable position of hoping, at least secretly, that I would burn or cut myself, so she could try out her plant.

I’m sure she felt horrible to wish for such a difficulty to befall me. It may be my imagination, but I thought she left matches lying around more, and I can’t swear to it, but there seemed to be a few shards of glass near my toys.

But being a young boy, it wasn’t too long before I warranted treatment. Trying to mask her thrill over becoming an ancient physician of remedy, she expressed concern over my boo boo, and then broke off one of the pods from the plant and squeezed the gooey stuff onto my cut. Then, almost hourly, she checked the progress.

I cannot truthfully tell you that my finger healed any more quickly with the aloe vera than it did with some alcohol and a band-aid. But she was convinced.

Matter of fact, she brought me into the room in front of strangers, held out my wound for inspection and explained her mode of treatment. But like so many other things my mother pursued–and also due to the fact that it became difficult to plan enough injuries to maintain the enthusiasm about the aloe–she eventually dropped her care of the plant, and the poor little thing dried up and died.

We didn’t speak much about it after that. Matter of fact, she never used aloe vera again on any of my cuts. We were back to hydrogen peroxide and alcohol.

But I will never forget the first time my exuberant mother squeezed gooey-gooey from a plant onto my finger.

It brought her joy.  So I offered an obligatory smile.