This post is random- general musings about my dad, which I wanted to edit into something cohesive and marvelous, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I am posting as is, because:
a. I am trying to work on consistency.
b. I am trying to work on avoiding writing and posting due to perfectionism.
c. I told myself I cannot read the book I am into right now until posting, as a form of punishment. (Crystal Erickson, this is kind of like the time I told you if I didn’t have all my paperwork in by a certain deadline I would have to write a check to the American Beef Association.)
My earliest memory is sitting on my grandfather’s lap while my father opened a can of sardines or some other small fish bathing in a tin can of oil. I believe I was around two and in my mind I can see my father’s hand turning the key. As he did more and more of the sardine smell was released- it’s hard for me to describe however I am certain smelling it again I would recognize, “that’s sardines.” He fed me one of the fish, which gives me the heebie-jeebies. As an adult, nothing short of the threat of death could make me eat a sardine, but apparently my toddler self had no qualms about it. I believe we ate it with club crackers. Does anyone else think it’s strange to feed a two year old sardines?
My dads nickname for me was Schnickelfritz. I thought it meant something in German, until I lived there and asked one of the locals. They looked at me like I was crazy. It was awkward, because I was convinced- clearly this German citizen and native speaker didn’t know what they were talking about. I discovered a few years later, that Schnickelfritz is in fact a term used exclusively by German-American immigrants, and is a term of endearment used for a mischievous child. So yeah, sorry person in Germany I accused of not knowing your native tongue, you were right.
I am grateful to have grown up in a home with a father who generally adored his children. He would do pretty much anything for me, and loves me no matter how badly I screw things up. I am sure there were moments of dismay, especially throughout my late teens and early twenties, but he always loved me, and still does.
At times, I thought he wasn’t proud of me, or that I wasn’t good enough. Looking back, I can see I was just projecting my own insecurities onto him. I’m glad I understand this now, because daddy-issues can require extensive therapy- and at this point I’m using my sessions to vent about frustrations with the human race in general.