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September 28, 2010

“Dash,” my dad called my nickname to get my attention, “do you have anything you want to throw out?  Today’s one of those amnesty days where you can throw away anything.”

I replied, “You know, Dad, since I had to drive those two hundred miles to get here, I didn’t exactly think to bring my old junk for you to put by the curb.  And why are you putting it out right now?  It’s Sunday.”

“Well, you know, I don’t want to have to do it tomorrow night for the actual pickup on Tuesday.  I’m going out to find some things.”

He grabbed his gloves and quickly walked outside, gently closing the door behind him.  We continued gathering our suitcases, snacks, medicines, and aloe for the severe sunburn incurred a day before.  Saying goodbye to my mother, we moved out the door to place the mound of stuff in the car before beginning the three-hour trek back home.

Outside, dad was intently rummaging through old drumsets, kiddie art stations, and furniture that fill the back boathouse.  I announced that we were leaving, and he replied with a question about whether or not I was willing to part with my childhood study desk.  Again, I insisted he come out to say goodbye, which he did, before returning to work.

As we drove away, I saw him peeking out of the boathouse to watch the car back out.  Although I waved, he didn’t acknowledge the gesture.  His effort to find an outdoor distraction at the time we leave is a regular occurrence.  Something tells me he doesn’t want me to know how much it bothers him each time I drive away.

Note: This post is part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  If you’re looking for information on literacy learning and a community of teachers with similar interests, head over there to check it out.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. jeeyoung permalink
    September 28, 2010 8:22 am

    It always hard to say goodbye! I enjoyed reading your writing!

  2. September 28, 2010 2:46 pm

    It’s nice that your dad asks you what you want to throw out. When I go to my parents’ house these days they just have stuff in a box and they put it into our car right when we’re about to go home and say something like, “This is your ____________. You can just put it in your basement.”
    Let’s just say my basement is full of boxes of childhood junk that my parents don’t want to hang on to any more than I do. But yet, I keep it anyway…

  3. September 28, 2010 6:26 pm

    This is one of the advantages of living too far way to drive to my parents’. They can’t send junk home with me. Basically, I threw out all the stuff I didn’t want years ago though, so they would just be sending their stuff with me.

    My father-in-law, on the other hand….

  4. September 28, 2010 7:28 pm

    I love how your story surprised me with its little insight about your dad and how he just has to “be busy” when it’s time to say good bye. I used to have to ask for hugs before I left but now my parents – in their late 70’s – are standing up to be sure to get their hugs.

  5. September 28, 2010 8:55 pm

    I loved how you shared this moment. A few weekends ago my mom brought up that she wanted me to go through the bins in the garage to get the rest of my stuff. She pointed me in the right direction but later came in and said that I was going through one of “her” bins with stuff she still wanted to keep. My sister and I decided to go through it on another trip when we could all be in there together.

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