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Popcorn and Star Wars (For Daddy)

June 19, 2011

The blue bean bag chair was properly in place in front of our TV.  It was an old wooden TV, with a knob you had to manually turn to change channels.  It swiveled from side to side, and sat right on the floor.  I was sitting in prime location – centered with my bean bag chair, at eye level with the screen, ready to soak up this movie viewing event in all my ten year old splendor.

My dad walked out of the kitchen shaking a bag of popcorn.  You know, “to mix it all up,” as he would tell me.  Daddy had his big bowl and I had my little one, and he shook out the popcorn for both of us.  My little bowl filled to the brim and his only halfway.  I held my popcorn trophy with pride.  I settled into my bean bag chair and Dad sat on the couch behind me.  He promised I would love this movie.  He grabbed the remote to begin Star Wars.  Before the screen even came to life, I remember the music of John Williams blasting through the speakers.  I remember my dad’s excitement.  I remember my own anticipation.  And I remember that this was the first, or perhaps just the most vivid, memory I have of doing something alone with just my dad.  Just the two of us.  There may have been other members of my family in the room, but for all I remember it was just him and me.  With popcorn bowls, the wooden TV, and a father-daughter love for all things space and action and fantasy.

And Dad was right. I would go on to love this movie.  I would actually go on to be a little too obsessed with it.  In fact, little did my dad know at the time, but I would one day go on to have a small collection of Star Wars memorabilia that I prized more than anything.  But I would also go on to remember this night with my dad.  This night where I realized we were more alike than we were different, where I had freedom to celebrate the nerdiest parts of me because, let’s be honest here, they came directly from him.

I remember asking my dad a thousand questions as we watched the movie.  There was so much I didn’t understand, but I was mesmerized nonetheless.  He kept saying, “just watch, honey, just watch” but I could barely contain myself.  I am sure I drove him nuts with my interruptions.  I am sure, at some point, he would have preferred to be watching the movie alone.  But he humored me and he was patient with me and he somehow managed to finish the movie with me still in the room.  Kudos to you, Dad.

I have so many memories with my parents.  It would take many months and many pages to get them all down.  But when all is said and done, I remember the experiences and the feelings and the atmosphere with them more than the actual events.  Right now, the moments that stand out to me are the ones where I felt a likeness, a kinship, with both of them that I hadn’t known existed before.  I remember those moments where I understood how much a part of each other we all were, and have grown to cherish those memories.  Some days I can’t tell where my mom ends and I begin.  I can’t always distinguish between my dad’s voice in my head and my own.  But what more precious gift would I ask for?  What better picture could I possibly paint?  We are a single thread of a deeper truth, my family and I.  A truth that extends beyond understanding, beyond logic, beyond circumstance and change.  We’re connected – we’re a living, breathing, moving – togetherness.

So on Father’s Day, I celebrate that first moment of togetherness with my dad.  I celebrate the popcorn and the nerdy sci-fi and the man who let me ask a million little questions without turning the movie off.  I celebrate understanding how similar we are.  I celebrate the pride in knowing he is as much a piece of me, as I am of him.

I love you, Daddy.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    June 19, 2011 9:10 pm

    I’m so grateful for you Lauren! Kristen and I were going through a big box of stuffed animals in the storage room before her move yesterday. And guess what we found? Your giant Minnie Mouse, your Babar and your Ewok!

  2. June 20, 2011 3:59 pm

    Beautiful post. That truly is profound patience to gently redirect your questions during his favorite movie! How blessed you are to have such a supportive, tight knit family!

  3. June 21, 2011 3:49 pm

    fran you are making me teary eyed thinking about the kemp fam. Miss all of you guys and hope all is a bag of popcorn and even more!

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