The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


My Husband, the Father I Never Had

I watched my husband, Keith, brush the hair away from my five-year-old daughter’s forehead last night as he read her Pirate ABCs. His voice growled as he did his best Johnny Depp impression. Miranda nestled next to his chest, looked up at him, smiled and snuggled closer.

I walked out of the room, tears welling in my eyes. My dad never read me a bedtime story. Not once. That wasn’t our bedtime ritual. Even though I was only six, I remember it clearly.

You see, Lyle Dennison didn’t read to his kids. He he was too busy being an Oakland cop. And when the job had been too much for him, he was busy hoisting a few Manhattans at the neighborhood tavern.

But we did have a bedtime ritual. He would come home, collapse in his big comfy armchair, and yell “George, take off my shoes.”

I would be in my room, in my pajamas, reading. Slowly, I would walk down the hall and enter the living room. “Hi Dad,” I would say quietly, trying to get a read on his mood.
If he was a happy drunk, then I could sit by his chair and watch McHale’s Navy. But if it had been a hard day, it was safer to be quiet, pull the shoes off and leave. Otherwise, there could be hitting, pushing, yelling.

Usually, it had been a hard day. “George, hurry up, I’m tired,” he would growl. I would bend down and untie the shoelaces as quickly as I could. I would pull them off. His feet usually stank. I stood up and walked quietly away as his head lolled back on the armchair, unconsciousness waiting around the corner.

I don’t remember where my mom was when this would happen. My older sister, Kathy, tried to stop it once and Dad just growled at her to leave me alone. And I don’t remember how long this ritual lasted -- I just remember how scared I was.

And last night, standing in my daughter’s room seeing the love and trust on her face as she snuggled next to her dad, I realized how far I had come from that dark ritual.

By Georgie Craig

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beautiful blog, georgie. taking off your father's shoes while mchale's navy plays in the background--such specific details, heartbreaking and vivid.
how wonderful that your daughter's experience is different.
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