Wednesday, March 22, 2006

father's day

I wrote this last Sunday and thought I'd share it with you. Hope you enjoy it.


Father's Day

Today (Sunday) is Father’s Day in Spain. Because the Dia del Padre occurs at a different time in Spain when compared to Father’s Day in America, I am not always aware of its approach. This year, however, I was informed by Meaghan on Monday that she had been working on something at school pertaining to my special day. And the remainder of the week consisted of reminders that my “special day” (that’s what she called it) was soon approaching. On Tuesday, I think, she informed me that she was preparing a treasure hunt for me. Later that week I was putting her to bed and happened to notice that she had been preparing clues for said treasure hunt well in advance. She asked me not to look and I assured her that I would not peek, as I preferred to be surprised. She was consoled.

Then, on Thursday (let’s say) she was telling me she had another surprise planned for me. It was the briefest of conversations, but by the end of it I had learned that she had designs to bring me breakfast in bed. Surprise averted. Good thing, or I might have had a heart attack from the shock of it.

This morning, then, Mom, Nic and Meg all got up early. I acted like I didn’t know what was going on and said, “What’s going on?”

I was told: “Just stay in bed.”

It was hard to comply with that request, but, in the end, I managed it by sheer force of will.

Some minutes later, the lights in the bedroom turned on and in came the tray with family beaming.

Scrambled eggs, juice, coffee, and toast. I was informed by Meaghan that she made the toast herself, spread the butter, and applied the jam. It was, I think, the finest piece of toast I have ever had.

Nic presented me with his gift right away, before I could even get myself into eating position. The gift was wrapped in a paper-thin, rectangular piece of red wrapper and I did wonder what would be inside.

He was told to wait until I could get up and hold the tray in bed. He complied, without complaining (I think because he was trying to be good on my special day).

I jockeyed into position and then was told by Heather to put on a shirt so that she could take my picture. Apparently, my pecs are not suitable for viewing by the general public.

I put on my shirt and was promptly informed by Meaghan that I had donned it inside-out. She was right, but the picture was taken anyway.

Next, I opened Nic’s present. It was a bookmark on which I was told (in Spanish) that he would like to give me something VERY VERY LARGE but he didn’t have any money to do so. That came as a surprise, but I read on. It then went on to say that my present was "the most important thing in life": that he would love and “respect” me (and he promised to do so) ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAAAAAAYYYYS. With that, it was signed with a VERRRRY VERRRRRY BIIIIIIIIGGGGG FFFFAAAAATTTTTTT KIIIIIIIIISSSSSS. I don’t doubt it, since Nic is accustomed to giving what we call in the Cady house “Floffly kisses” (pronounced “FLAW-flee”). At any rate, there were actually lip marks on the book mark. I could only assume those were Nic’s lips and he had made his mark with the aid of some lipstick. I thought, “Hm. Not sure how I feel about my six-year-old son wearing red lipstick, but, oh well…it’s cute.”

After that, I ate my breakfast surrounded by an audience of three, who kept smiling at me incessantly.

Meaghan pointed out the coffee to me: “You haven’t taken a drink of that yet.”

Her observation was stated more like a command, though. In other words: “Take a drink of that, Dad.”

I took a sip. And as I finished the eggs and the juice, Meaghan kept “egging” me on to finish everything else (pun intended). I wondered why she kept pointing out stuff I had yet to finish, and soon I realized: she wants me to finish quickly so we can get on with her treasure hunt.

At that point, the only remaining item in my breakfast was the coffee so we told her we would commence the hunt now and I would finish my coffee later. She liked that idea.

I told her, though, that I did need to use “the facilities” before starting the treasure hunt and she said, “Oh, but you can’t. There’s a clue in there.”

At this, Heather and I asked if I could use one of the other bathrooms. Meaghan answered in the negative: apparently, all three of our bathrooms were designated clue territory.

I sat for a few seconds wondering where I could go to relieve myself when Meaghan suggested the temporary re-placement of the clue in our bathroom. She ran into the bathroom and a few seconds later came back out with these instructions: “Just don’t look in the bathtub.”

I promised her I wouldn’t, but did anyway. It was hard not to notice. There it was, placed smack in the middle of the tub, where even Ray Charles could see it: the clue, letters face-up. I looked away and did not read it so as not to ruin “the surprise”.

Shortly after that, Meaghan and Nic came into the bathroom as if to say, “Hurry up, Dad.”

Thankful for their prodding, I obliged.

I slipped on a pair of sweats and she handed me the first clue.

Here’s what it said:

“1. Look on brother but be carefull…It’s not Nic.”

A word of explanation about this clue is required. Last Christmas Meaghan engaged in a treasure hunt prepared by Mom. This was one of the clues. Apparently, it stuck because this was the first clue she thought of.

I went to the basement. There, next to the computer, was our printer: a Brother. I picked up the clue and read:

“2. Look in the place where I like to take baths.” I proceeded to our bathroom and there, on the toilet (not in the bathtub), was the second clue, which read:


At this point, a word of explanation was required. Meaghan said: “I lost clue number three, so this just says number four.”

Disoriented now, I went on with the treasure hunt anyway, sure that I would never be able to solve the enigma, now that number three was missing.

I continued, though:

“4. Look in the place that is across the kitchen.” I proceeded downstairs to bathroom number two, but Nic proceeded into the kitchen. When he saw he was in the kitchen all by himself, he pulled an about-face and caught up with us. The clue read:


By the way, I was told by Meaghan earlier in the week that she had prepared six clues for the hunt. By Friday that “six” had turned into “nine” and I was convinced by Sunday it would turn into twenty-seven or something like that, but, alas, it did not. Anyway, back to the hunt.

“5. Look in the place that is next to where Nic sleeps.” Up we went to bathroom number three. I wondered what she had planned next now that all the bathrooms were used up. I picked up the clue and read:

“6. Look in the place where I sleep.” Her room. Next clue.

“7. Look in the place where me and Nic play.” On the way upstairs to the play room I thought, “Hm. Guess I’ll have to teach her sometime about ‘Nic and I’, not ‘me and Nic.’” I entertained the idea for about half a second and then saw there in front of me (or is it ‘I’?) on the video shelf a clue. I moved for it, but then Meaghan said, “No, not that one! It’s the other one.”

Of course! How could I have not known? It’s “the other one”. Anyone can see that. Duh.

I looked around the room for “the other one” for about 2 seconds (no kidding) when Meaghan said, “Hey, what’s in the toy box?” She opened up the lid and, to my surprise, THERE WAS A CLUE IN THERE. How on earth I found that one, I’ll never know. It was pure street smarts. I picked up the clue and read:

“8. Look on the shelf where the videos stay.” Ah, that must be the elusive “shelf clue” for which I have been pining all this time. I moved to the shelf and held the coveted clue in my clammy hands and read:

“9. Look in the place where Nic sleeps.” I went downstairs to Nic’s room and, as soon as we crossed the threshold (no kidding), Meaghan said, “Hey, what’s under the bed?”

Now, how on earth did she know it was there?

A cut-out silhouette of Meaghan and two cards. One card was in English and the other was in Spanish.

The Spanish card said : “Yo te quiero mucho! Yo estoy muy feliz! Yo estoy muy feliz porque estoy con tigo y muy contenta porque me quieres como no habia nunca pensada.”

The English card said on the outside: “I LOVE DAD”. I opened it up and it said: “THIS MUCH”. The text was accompanied by the picture of a girl opening her arms as wide as possible.

All this to say: Meaghan and Nic, I love you very much and I am very happy. I am happy because I am with you and I love you like I never thought possible. I love you “THIS MUCH”.

No comments: