Friday, December 07, 2012

The Legacy of the Little Shadow

I've got a strong bond with my father.  In that regard I was quite spoiled growing up.  Being between twelve and eighteen years younger than my five older siblings I had a bit of a monopoly on him as I was growing up.  When you throw in that he was the principal of my grade school (Kindergarten-fifth grade) and he retired at age 55 at the same time that I "graduated" from fifth grade.

From middle school through my high school graduation it was Dad, not Mom (although she did join us from time to time) taking me to doctor, dental, and orthodontic appointments.

He's told me stories over the years of how, when he was a boy, visiting his extended family in Connecticut he'd follow his Uncle Charlie around everywhere he went to the extent that Uncle Charlie nicknamed him his Little Shadow.  Much like my father had been to his uncle, I was my father's "little shadow" when he would be out running errands.

Now, as a father myself, I see the same dynamic taking shape with my daughter and I.  While I know many of the errands I run would likely go much faster without her, I've come to quite enjoy having her with me despite this.  It's our time to bond, much like my father with Uncle Charlie, and me with him.

Sami and I will go to Dominick's on the weekends to visit "The Cheese Table" where she throws away her normal finicky eating habits and becomes a rather adventurous little cheese connoisseur.  She's tried everything from Stilton to Wensleydale, Manchego to Limburger, Brie to Habanero Jack.  When she's particularly good on our outings I treat her to unscheduled stops at PetSmart to see the kittens, fish, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, and parakeets, or to McDonald's for a yogurt parfait, or to the Fox Valley Mall so she can ride the carousel in the food court.

It's got to the point where, even if I'm driving past a place I know I need to stop on my way home from work, I'll go home first to pick up Samantha so I can bring her with me.  I hope that someday she looks back on our outings together with the same fondness that I look back on my outings with my own father when I was growing up.

1 comment:

drewzepmeister said...

It used to be this way with my son. Now that he is 15, he prefers to spend time with hos friends and his girlfriend. I don't see too much of him anymore...

Kinda sucks. Well, he is that age. Enjoy Sami while it lasts!