Thursday, May 10, 2007


Driving down State Blvd. this morning I was watching a slew of kids walking to the High School. My first thought was this, "It's 945am!! What time do these kids go to school?" I began reminiscing about getting to high school, I believe it began around 8am and I think we got out around 3pm.

That sounds about right,doesn't it?

I wish I could have a conversation with my Dad about those mornings dashing to the Catholic High School they forced me to go to in another city. Me and Dad are far beyond those conversations as he is almost totally deaf and suffering from Alzheimer's. I could write him a message about it, but he would read it and only look puzzled and confused and frustrated and shake his head no. "No, I do not remember taking you and your brothers to Lexington each morning for school." That's what I would receive, a terse head shake.

(God I miss my Dad)

But, I remember. And my brothers remember.

My mother standing at the bottom of the staircase that led up to the dormer that was the bedrooms for my brothers and myself.

"Time to GET UP!!"

Moaning and groaning, "Five more minutes." I would wail and cover my head with a pillow. No doubt I had been up half the night listening to the radio, reading unauthorized books (Peyton Place, Valley of the Dolls, Joy in the Morning, The Crowd and the such, heady stuff for a Catholic school girl). My Mother, the librarian, encouraged reading but mainly Lives of the Saints and Alice in Wonderland type stuff, she would have died if she knew what I was able to check out of the library(....before computers, Thank God!).

If I wasn't staying up reading in the huge closet where she could not see the light still on, I was perched on the bottom stairs watching tv in the reflection of the front door. HA!! HA!! HA!! She never knew about that!

And so it would go for about a half hour or so, "GET UP!! You leave in five minutes."

I'll never know how I did it, being a self conscious teenager and all. But I would pull those rollers out of my head, brush my teeth (God I hope so), apply a thin application of Maybelline eyeliner, the kind that you licked the brush and swirled it in the cake, throw on my uniform. Never a worry about what to wear, because it was always the same, navy pleated shirt, white blouse, and navy sweater, white bobbie socks with saddle oxfords, or knee highs with Bass Weejuns. They had to be Bass Weejuns.

I would stumble downstairs and head to the door where my father and my two brothers and the two other kids who car pooled in the morning, Brian and that Drury kid, would be waiting in the car, in the driveway with the car running and my Dad revving the engine.

Miraculously I would have my school books and a cup of coffee, that was breakfast for me and barely have the door shut before my Dad was already backing out the driveway.

He was late for work everyday for four years.

I remember him shaking his head and smiling about that.

He use to remember what a handful I was.


meno said...

Oh the horror of getting up at 6:30 in the morning to get to school on time, how i hated it.
I wish your dad was here for you to ask too.

Lisa :-] said...

I had to be at school at 8:00 am. I would get out of bed at 7:30. It was really pretty cool because I didn't have to last two years, I had P.E. first period, so I had to shower after that anyway. And I drove myself to school (which was less than a mile away.) Ah, those were the days!

G said...

What a poignant post. Now I am shoveling my own children out of bed. The interest on payback is rather steep.

Jocelyn said...

This is a tremendous first-post for me to read, on my initiation to your blog. Wow.

The details--the weaving in of your father's current and past states of mind--the writing've got me.

CS said...

I saw your comment and wandered over. I roll out of bed at 5:15 to get the kids to school on time and me to work - and I am NOT a morning person. I also rememebr reading by the little sliver of light under my door from the hallway.

emmapeelDallas said...

This is a beautiful recollection, really beautiful.