“Oh, my baby’s crying again? I got this.”
The cool, confident, suave sophistication; it even worked on BABIES, Y’all. I can only imagine that I, of all babies, with my voracious appetite for new and inspiring words and ideas even today, was just as taken by my Dad’s inclination to speak to children, from infant to 4 years old, the same way he spoke to grown adults. He is a captivating, master storytelling and a proponent of the formation of the perfect words for any situation.
Even so, my most favorite feelings and time spent with my Dad as an infant (I am assuming, of course) were the moments where quiet hung in the air, stirred at the most inopportune moments, by my persistent wailing.
Don’t worry, though. Daddy knew just what to do.
With my teeny little head snuggled softly in his one hand, and my feet tucked swiftly in the crook of his elbow – my whole body spanning the length of his forearm -, he would carefully, yet confidently, dip and sway his body in sync with his arm, rocking me with his smooth, deep voice singing,
“Sugar, sugar Pookum, yeah!
Sugar, sugar Pookum, yeah!”
That was the beginning of one of my most prized possessions: a nickname. The one hardly anyone knows about and only my daddy ever can or ever will be allowed to call me. That name? Pookum Pie. The words, the spelling, the zeal, and the zest of flavor (get it, pie??), come straight from him; Daddy.
The meaning ascribed to it, however, and the ways it is held onto and cherished, that comes from me. The love and the joy that are activated in every moment of its use, that will forever belong to the bond that only one couple of hearts share.
I am so proud of my dad; his resilience, goofy sophistication, and handsome, easy laughter. I’m always impressed at how even I want to hear the same story told over and over again (though now I tend to finish many of the stories myself *shrug*).
Losing my mother, his first true love, has taken a toll on him in many ways, and yet he still loves, with his whole heart, refusing to let grief or confusion in the whys and hows of life be what steals his joy.
Wishing everyone a warm love like the one I get from my father, and – just as important – the support and encouragement that he has given me, empowering me to fully, truly and completely love my own self; I wish that for all of you too. Know that I am here in that capacity for anyone who so desires to call out for it.
Until next week.
Love, Peace, and Joy,