Monday, March 4, 2013

What a Weekend!

Over the weekend, our son met his Grandparents from Texas and as always it was a memorable visit full of laughter, memories, and tears….from the laughing.

It was somewhat surreal at first, being in the same room with my son and my dad.  The last of the three Fannings, we share dna, blue eyes, and it looks like my son has the large family feet. As the patriarch of the family, we looked to Grandpa to lead the way. 

But we had to be careful at times, some of his tactics were, uh, a bit dated.  Sure, he raised me, but at times I had to wonder.  Take for instance, dinnertime. When we sat down to eat and our little guy threw a fit, my dad jumped up and insisted we continue.  He would take care of it.

It quickly became obvious that his children’s sing songs weren’t exactly children friendly, or even songs at all. With lyrics involving ladies of the night, whisky, and well, I stopped him at that. 

“What, you loved this one when you were little.”

We hoped to fair better with Grandma, a true crime author by trade.  She took over with the singing and playing, but I was sure to keep her from the story telling, where some serious harm could be done.

Modern amenities were lost on my dad, who didn’t quite understand why there was padding in the baby tub.  “We just put you in a rusted metal bucket.”  Perhaps this explains why I tried to swallow my tongue.

Other highlights included:

Watching him try to find the crank on the baby swing. 

Laughing as my wife mentioned getting a pool membership in the near future.  My dad and I once went rafting in the creek at the park.

Explaining the finer parts of buying kid toys at the thrift shop.  Don't buy the pacifiers.

My dad asking what was in the back seat of my car. Dad, it’s a car seat.

And then there was the Baby Bjorn.  While I explained how it worked, my dad commented how he loved Matt Damon in the trilogy.  The Bjorn Identity. Coming to suburban theatres everywhere.

But the best part of the weekend was the evenings; after dinner, sitting in the living room and reminiscing on the past.  My wife made sure to let them know just which of my childhood habits I haven't quite outgrown, (Mostly relating to my love of cereal).  As always with my dad and stepmom, I laughed, I learned, and I was entertained.  I was one lucky kid.

I always come away from our time together with a renewed sense of purpose, and inspired to be more like the man who raised me. I've said many times before that I hope to be anything near the father that he is to me.

Now I just need to talk my wife into getting a raft.


  1. The core of what we learned is what we wish to be and to pass on. The dated material is what's best. My brothers and I have wrestling matches in the back of the van on long road trips. The long evenings in the summer when mom had no clue where we were until bed time. I asked my dad once what I was like when I was a baby. He just replied, "You cried a lot." That was the extent of his involvement. We dad's these days are neck deep in it. Fun stuff. Thanks for sharing.

    The Cheeky Daddy

  2. Yeah, I was definitely lucky to have a hands on dad growing up Jason, I'm still learning from him today. Thanks!