My mind has been going back this week to a particular birthday when I was a kid. August 19th, school had already started. Dad let me go in late that day so he could take me to Toddle House that was on Forrest Avenue (next door to Laverty Music Company). I remember that morning clearly. Dad had to park the car in the back of the building and walk around to the front. The back lot was gravel, not easy to maneuver on two crutches.
So we get out of the car and I walk with my dad around the building to the front door. Once in, he works his way, not into a booth, but onto a round stool to order and eat from the counter next to his son. Sometime during the week Dad had asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told him that I wanted him to take me to get a waffle for breakfast. Having five siblings, I just wanted it to be just him and me.
Looking back, it was a simple thing to ask, but perhaps a difficult task for a man with polio on crutches to deliver. It's a good memory, but I guess it's taken me over forty years to really appreciate a father's small gift to the fullest. "Son, I love you. I'll negotiate gravel on crutches for you - risk falling down for you. I'll sit perched atop a tall bar stool, and balance myself while I have breakfast with you. I've got work at the office to do, but I love you, I'll be late just so you can have a waffle with your dad."
I know I'm a little bit late in doing so - but thanks for the birthday dad.
The Late Christmas Present
5 weeks ago