Daddy’s birthday usually stretches over several days around our house. I takes awhile for all eight children to choose an appropriate gift, and when each one manages to do so immediate presentation usually follows.
The four oldest have reached the stage of earning their own money and spending it so they shop for a gift without any influence from me. They did quite well this year.
Bill Jr. did his shopping at the bait shop and returned with a bait bucket to replace the one the dogs chewed up, along with a hook sharpener, and a hook guard. Very appropriate gifts from one fisherman to another one.
Bob stopped at a restaurant and bought his dad a cheeseburger and some French fries. Quite suitable from one food fancier to another. He also visited the Friends of the Library Book Sale and bought a book. I forget the title, but I remember the cover! I think I’ll reserve my decision of what it’s a proper gift from and to whom until I read it.
Irene shopped all over town before she settled on a three dimensional plaque of a beautiful sailing ship along with a down to earth, hilarious card. From one practical dreamer to another, perhaps.
Joyce, too, shopped with the Friends of the Library. She chose a book of war stories, and a cute little bunny card full of love, love, love. Contradictory? Not really. Daddy reads war stories, and Joyce loves her daddy.
The four younger children were confined in their choice of gifts by my pocketbook.
Eddy decided to forego the shopping trip with us, but he reminded me that Dad needed a shovel for digging worms for going fishing.
John, Joe, and Jean offered a wide variety of suggestions on the way to the store. They began with bubble gum and progressed to pickles and olives.
At the store they became more individual. John thought candy would be nice because “we all like that.” Joe suggested a new car, “a toy model one we could all play with.” Jean was sure Daddy would like a new dollhouse which she would take care of for him.
They settled for more commonplace items like hankies and socks, but they did insist on at least two boxes of birthday candles for the cake.
On Daddy’s birthday morning the whole crew started for the bedroom with the few gifts that hadn’t been opened yet and a cup of coffee strong enough to walk up the stairs by itself, but made with love.
Six-year-old John left the group at the front door. “Where’s John going?” I asked. “Oh, he’s getting another present ready for Dad,” Joe informed me. Then he giggled and ran on with the group.
Daddy had opened and properly appreciated all of the gifts when John’s absence and Joe’s giggle began to add up. My voice caught him just in time. “John, stray cats do not make good birthday presents for daddies!” Sure enough, the other present was the little grey kitten they had been trying to get us to adopt.
John shrugged his shoulders and put the kitten down outside. He and Joe exchanged a “can’t win ’em all” look, and you could see the wheels turning already in their heads, hatching another plan to make that grey kitten a permanent member of our family.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her columns, Back Around the House and All Around the House. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.