ONLY A MOTHER WOULD KNOW…
~A Cup of Tea ~
One day my mother was out, and my dad was in charge of me.
I was maybe 2 1/2 years old. Someone had given me a little ‘tea set’ as a gift, and it was one of my favourite toys.
Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought him a little cup of ‘tea’, which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my mom came home.
My dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was ‘just the cutest thing!’ Mum waited, and sure enough, here I came down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy; and she watched him drink it up.
Then she said, (as only a mother would know), “‘Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?”
I read this story earlier and after ripping myself into hysterics it brought back some memories about me and my dad. I am the youngest of three daughters and there a bit of an age gap between the three of us. Both my sisters grew up in Natal with my grandparents while I was born and brought up in Josie with my parents. This is probably why my dad and I were always so close, I am his favourite.
I remember the traumatising first years of being in school. In the mornings when my mom would wake me up I’d stumble sleepy eyed into my parents’ bedroom and snuggle up next to my dad. My mum started waking me up 15 mins earlier to make up for this habit!
I think my dad is the one who fostered my love for animals. I had all sorts of pets. I had a chick that my dog ate, a turtle who ran away, a bird with a frightful disposition, countless dogs, a kitchen mouse who suddenly ‘disappeared’ and a rubber snake who I buried in disgust. My dad and I had the bad habit of bringing home flea ridden puppies and pleading with my mum to let us adopt them. Many a teddy bear was donated to this worthy cause.
I remember the first puppy I had ever received; she was given to me when I was a year old. She was pure black and a very small breed with one brown eye and one green. I spent all my time with her and my dad built her a tiny house to stay in. Lots of afternoons were spent in her house hiding from homework. She was very fertile and once when she got really old she had a litter of three puppies. She was in pain but wouldn’t let anyone but me go near her. I crawled under the car where she was attempting to give birth while my dad gave me instructions. I helped her give birth to all three pups, cleaned them up and fed her and them. I then spent almost every waking minute with them to see them through. He taught me how to be a mother! Lol
Many weekends were spent at the river fishing. He used to have a special spot where the fish used to ‘bite’ but I was the only one he took with to this spot. We’d spend hours talking or inventing new games until I either got bored or hungry.
One of my fondest memories is watching animations with him. I, being the girl that I am, loved all things Disney and would watch any movie a dozen times. And he would sit through it every single time with me until we could annoy my mum by reciting whole scenes out of them! Lol
Oh, and what interesting friends he had! One day I came home from school to find a mass of police cars, an army tanker and a helicopter buzzing around the place with father in the thick of things! Turns out a gang with machine guns tried to rob the house opposite us and my dad spotted them and called his buddies, how cool is that?
Then one Saturday he took me to a friend’s farm. The couple who owned this farm bred dogs, miniature ponies and housed horses. Can you imagine the fun I had there? I witnessed the birth of a foal and it was even named after me! I ended up taking a puppy home as well, it was amazing.
My dad taught me all about my religion and our culture. Most of my geography and history lessons came from him and he was the only dad in my group of friends that no one was afraid of. He taught me to cook as well, and to bake.
So much of my life was moulded by his influence. How on earth did things end up like this?
I sometimes wish I was a little girl again, unaware of how things would change…