Really Relating

LIFE, LOVE, AND THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MAKE IT ALL MATTER

Daddy’s Little Girl 02/05/2010

Filed under: Celebrate,Dad,Daddy,Daddy's Little Girl,Little Girl,Love,Memories — Vickey Banks @ 8:36 am
One of the purest forms of love has to be the love of a little girl for her Dad. Today is my Dad’s birthday. Although I’m no longer little, he is still the hero of my heart.
   
As I celebrate my Dad today, I’m remembering a scene we lived out many times. I’d walk into the living room to find him stretched out on our gold velvet sofa, a bowl of freshly popped popcorn in his lap, intently watching football – a manly sport for a manly kind of guy. Then came the question there is no telling how many times I asked during my growing up years, “Who are we for Dad?”  Next, I’d sit down and cheer for the team Dad said we were routing for. I don’t remember it ever occurring to me to cheer for the other team.  One thing was for certain: I was for Dad’s team.
   
When I became a Junior High cheerleader, Dad sat me down and painstakingly coached me at home on the game of football.  He flattened out a newspaper on the kitchen counter, using it as a chalkboard to diagram the lineup of the team, making sure I knew the roles of each and every player.  I can still see those Xs and Os now.  This was one cheerleader who would never yell “D-E-F-E-N-S-E” when her team had the ball! 
   
Over the years Dad taught me about a lot more than football.  He ran beside me and held on to the handlebars as I wobbled up and down our driveway learning to ride a bike.  He sat next to me and taught me how to drive a car. Like the ex-Marine he is, he showed me where the pressure points were on a person and how to defend myself.  He helped me buy my first car, made me apologize to my Mom when I hurt her feelings, celebrated the good grades I made, and somehow made me believe I could be anything I wanted to be. 
  
Yes, a lot of years have passed since these memories. These days, I sit beside Dad during his chemo treatments and am more grateful for his love and character than ever before. But one thing remains the same: Whose team am I for? Forever and always, I am for my Dad. 
 
Really Relating
What’s a favorite memory you have of growing up in your house? Share it, please!
 

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! 12/24/2009

Filed under: Christmas,Christmas Tree,Decorating,Memories,Story,Tradition,Traditions,Tree — Vickey Banks @ 1:52 pm
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, Much pleasure doth thou bring me!
   
Decorating our family Christmas tree has long been a favored Christmas tradition in our house.  I loved the way my son explained why when he was just six years old, “I like to hear the memories.” he sweetly said.
  
I knew exactly what he meant then, and I still feel the same way over a decade later. Every year, when I lift the lids off the boxes of ornaments, I could swear that I hear them talk! Even if carefully holding them in my hands didn’t prompt a memory, each ornament has a written description of who or where it came from, as well as what year we added it to our eclectic collection. When we carefully unwrap them, we remember “their story” and are transported back in time.
  
As I hold the tiny teddy bear sitting in the rocking chair, a smile spreads across my face as I remember my first Christmas as a mommy. Construction paper chains and pinecones piled high with glitter also flood my heart with memories of my chubby cheeked children dancing about my feet. Other handmade creations take me back to sitting side-by-side friends and family, laughing hard as we painted, sewed, cut and pasted our own masterpieces. And, as over half of the ornaments are from my Mom, I cannot help but be touched by the realization that her hands once lovingly chose and wrapped them with us in mind. I lightly kissed each of hers before prominently placing them on the tree this year.
  
And the trips we’ve taken! There are seashells, starfish, and a sailboat, all testifying to sun-kissed times at the ocean. Miniatures of the Lincoln Memorial, St. Louis Arch, Eifel Tower, and even a Pinocchio from Italy take me back to places we’ve played.
  
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…you do make my heart smile. Thank you for the memories.
  
Really Relating 
What is your favorite Christmas tradition is and why. I can’t wait to hear!