Saturday, September 23, 2006


My Dad, John, is kind of a goof ball. I tend to take after him. He's a talker. Sometimes too much of a talker. But in a sweet, friendly, goof ball sort of way. I mean, he worked in his liquor store all his life. He was right there behind the counter, interacting with everyone from the deliveryman to the little old lady coming in to buy "cooking sherry." He can go on and on. Now that he's retired from the day-to-day, he talks to everyone he sees as he walks his dog twice a day. All the folks on the boardwalk know him and his Jack Russel Terrier, Jackie. If I'm visiting and walk the dog without him, they all recognize Jackie and stop me to make sure Dad's OK. He talks to the cashier at the grocery store, the dry cleaner, the gardeners at his condo, anyone who will listen and even to those who won't. Dad's never in a rush to get anywhere, so he chats as if everyone in the world is retired and can spend a few moments sharing a story or a laugh. I know he talks to Jackie when they are alone. If only Jackie could talk back, or at least laugh at his stories, life would truly be grand!

When we are with family members and someone says something that is just too... too... much, we always roll our eyes and say, "OK, John."

And I tell you this because The Girl has become my father. She's a talker. Sometimes too much of a talker. When she tells the hostess at Red Robin that she went pee in the girls' restroom and not the boys' restroom, I cringe a little. Kind of like when my dad will go into great detail about some post-operative bowel issue or tell tales of bone infections or talk to the bag boy at Vons in excruciating detail about the delicious cioppiono he and my Mom had in France in '84. But then my heart swells a little too. Because it really is great to know that we are made up of all those odd bits and pieces of DNA, handed down through the generations, quietly keeping the family traits alive. And sometimes not so quietly. So The Girl has a new nickname - John.

And if you happen to walk by while we are in Target, she will let you know the status of her blister, or that she recently received Ice Age and Scrat is her favorite, or tell you that sometimes she is "mean to my mommy," or that the stain on her shirt is from yogurt (like Lola had on picture day!), or that she is a big girl and made peep on the potty at school today. If you walk by while we are playing in the front yard, she may also add that she is currently going "commando" under her dress and hopes that the neighbor's dog doesn't get her "biscuits." She is so John. And so am I.

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