SOMETHING STUPID

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We listened to all types of music around our house when I was growing up. My dad liked old country. Artists like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash were his favorites. My mom’s taste was on the other end of the spectrum. Some of her favorites were Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, and Boots Randolph.

My brothers and sister were like most young people at that time who listened to pop/rock. The Beatles, Credence Clearwater Revival, and Jimi Hendrix were some of what they preferred  at that time.

Being the youngest (and smallest) put me at the end of the turntable line for dropping on one of my favorite 45’s, Winnie The Pooh.

I naturally developed an appreciation for all kinds of music. One of the songs I enjoyed as a kid was Frank and his daughter Nancy Sinatra’s “Something Stupid.” The chorus was perfect for a child who’s favorite word was “stupid.” I was thrilled to hear a song use the word I usually reserved for my siblings.

For the younger readers that might not have heard the song, the chorus is; “Then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like I love you.”

I was in complete agreement at the time. Saying I love you wasn’t in my vocabulary back then. To be honest, it took most of my life to come to the point where I could say  those words with comfort. Even now, I don’t say it as much as I should. I blame Ole Blue Eyes for my unwillingness to use the term. After all, he is “The Chairman Of  The Board.” (Another nickname for you youngsters) How could I argue with him?

The Bible says that “Love is patient, love is kind.” I certainly didn’t have a lot of those attributes at that point in my life. In truth, I struggle with them still.

Our youngest has taught me a lot when it comes to this department. Since she first learned to talk she never let one day go by without saying to me or her mom, “I love you.” What does Frank know?… I guess he knew how to sell music…

My wife and I were headed out of town last Friday. My niece and her husband had just arrived the night before for a one night stay over before heading north to hike the Grand Canyon. They hadn’t had much sleep so we had encouraged them to sleep in. My wife was taking our daughter to school where after she was going to spend the weekend with Grandma.

A few minutes before she left I told her to be as quiet as she could heading out to the garage so as not to wake up Toni and Chris. She got busy packing her backpack, I guess in the excitement she forgot about our sleeping guests. As she was heading out the garage door she yelled back to me in the kitchen, “I love you, Dad!”

I quickly answered, “Thanks for being quiet!” The garage door shut before I could say anything else. Immediate regret… Talk about stupid… I quickly headed for the front door to catch them before my wife got out of the garage. My full blooded Italian wife has something in common with another Italian besides Sinatra, that is Mario Andretti. She was pulling down the street as I got to the front door.

That’s the first time I didn’t tell my little one, “I love you too …  Who’s stupid now? I texted her immediately, “I love you too,” and “Who loves the Gurmy Girl”? She didn’t have her phone on. She, unlike her dad, follows the rules and doesn’t turn her phone on until after school. Those are the school rules.

I was bothered all day. That afternoon I got a text back, “You do!” In answer to my question. Love is patient, love is kind, love is forgiving. Thank God she’s not like her dad. I have something stupid to say: To my wife, kids, family, and friends. For all the times I didn’t express myself, I’m sorry and…

I love you.