There are many memories that come to mind growing up with Dad. Road trips, camping, Algebra 1, home improvement projects. When we moved to the farm, Mark and I were old enough to do many things related to the remodel. Grunt work, like scraping bricks and siding.
I'll never forget the time dad came home with some discount paint that we were to use to paint the entire upstairs floor of the original house. He handed me a paint brush and a can of paint. It was pink, mind you. He thought it was beige, but I digress.
Anyway, I think I remember him telling me not to paint myself into a corner. Then he left to go work somewhere else on the property. I did paint myself into a corner, at which time I realized what that exactly meant. I must have been about 8 years old.
Once I finally worked my way back out of my bedroom with paint can in one hand, brush in the other and pink feet, I victoriously yelled out the upstairs landing window, "Mooooom! Daaaaad! I'm done!"
Then CRASH, BANG, BANG, THUNK... All the way down the stairs! I had dropped the paint can and it splashed paint all down the beautiful original woodwork of the stair case of this now 100 year old farm house!
Dad and mom heard and didn't need to be told what had happened. At the same time, I realized that I had just lived the last moments of my life. Surely, I was dead.
I don't remember how I got down the stairs. There was no anger or punishment. They were too busy cleaning up paint as fast as they could on this hot, summer day. The most important thing to me about this memory, that I treasure to this day, is how both my parents handled what must have been a very frustrating situation. I was mortified and humiliated. They didn't make that worse.
Now, years later, as we raise our children in the very same house, I travel up those same stairs many times each day. I often think of that day that my parents didn't kill me. The day that I did pretty much everything wrong, and they cleaned up after it. Will I serve my own children as well? I pray that I will.