Tuesday, October 18, 2005

First Thanks

Growing up with such a large family of boys, most of my Saturday’s were occupied going to games. Little League baseball, basketball, and football.
If I was not playing I was required to attend my brothers’ games. My parents would not allow me to stay home by myself. Sometimes Saturday’s would be an all day event because 4 or 5 of my brothers would be playing at different times throughout the day.

There was one benefit to attending these all day events. Treats.

Treats are what we called any type of sugary food from the concession stand.
At some point during the 6-hour day, my dad would ask, “Who wants a treat?”
Of course no one ever said “No”.
We (anywhere between 3 and 7 of us) would walk over to the concession area and stand in line as we told my dad what we wanted. He would repeat what we said to the people working. “Bottlecaps, uh, Razzles, Charleston Chew. What? Oh. Billy what flavor Charleston Chew? Strawberry. A Fun Dip. I am not supposed to let you have that. Okay. A Fun Dip. Red Hot Dollars and a Snow Cone.” As the lady working the counter handed my dad each item he would turn around and pass it back.

We would walk back to the area in the bleachers or on the hill that overlooked Field 2 that was designated by one of our parents as the meeting spot. Sitting through a T-ball game and a Minors League blow out (usually the Lawnwhisperer’s team. He was always on a stinky team) did not seem to suck as bad once you had your treat. We would devour our candy and then fight to sit still through the next couple of games. We were not allowed to “horseplay” we were “there to watch the games.”

At some point, when the candy was gone and the wrappers were in the trashcan, someone, sometimes me, sometimes someone else, would say, “Thanks Dad.” Immediately following the first thanks there was an echo of “Thanks Dad.” from everyone else.

In my mind it always felt so good to be the first to say thanks. By being the first to say thanks that meant I was the only one to truly mean it. Everyone else was just saying it because someone else said thanks. I always felt bad not being the first to say it.

As we got older it became a competition to see who could say thanks first. If it was one of my brothers and not me, I would hold my ‘thanks” until later, so my dad knew I meant it. So he wouldn’t think I was just saying thanks because someone else did. Often times I would hold my “Thanks Dad” too long and would forget to say thanks at all.

For every time I forgot.

“Thanks Dad.”

That should cover me for a while. Except that my dad rarely reads Poop and Boogies and I am sure all of my brothers are calling him right now to say thanks so they can beat me to it.


The Q said...

I feel the EXACT same way when it comes to saying "Thanks" first. We still get together as a family for birthdays and such...and I mean each and EVERY birthday. Even The Hubs and SIL get taken out to a nice dinner on my Mom & Dad's dime. So we're talking about 7-8 people each time and I *always* strive to be the first to say "Thanks Mom & Dad!", because I usually choke alittle each time I see the bills for these dinners out. That's an awful LOT of trophies I'd have to sell!

But big or small, the gesture is the same and the first "Thank you" always means the most!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing that blog ( How did I do ? Was I first? How do you screenplay? This is much better than any family movie I have seen. Fun Dip? That's funny

Judypatooote said...

What a great post....I can''t imagine having 4 or 5 different games to go to.....I'm tired just watching my daughter go from soccer to volleyball and work in play practice....but games are something to look forward to,for the kids and grandparents... especially when there is a concession stand....lol

Nature Girl said...

Ah yes, but when Dad does read it, he will see the date and time posted and see that you meant it first!
Now to tackle that 8 letter comment puzzle..

Cheryl said...

That is so doggon sweet!

eclectic said...

Awwww.... kids who say "please" and "thank you" (and mean it) are so nice to have around. I bet that your dad loved to hear it the 7th, 8th and/or 9th time just as much as the 1st. But being the last out of four kids, I know what you're saying about being first meaning something extra,,, at least to the kids!

Anonymous said...

I have three children and I'm happy if even one remembers to say thank you. Competeing to say it first: what a dream. That's a really touching story.

Anonymous said...

Dad, I actually thought of this type of story last week. I don't have a place to write the story, so I could not get it down. So in all reality, that means I said thanks first.

afdalieuroiuf said...

man, you made me cry. hard.

Effie said...

Hey lawnwhisperer--if you have access to the internet then you could make your own blog--easy--no excuse! Bill got there first!

So sweet--I remember that too--as 1 of 6 kids--the chimed "Thanks dad" always happened--it felt special being the first to say it though!

Lois Lane said...

Awww! You struck another nerve Billy! Great post. Thank you for sharing this.
Lois Lane

Tammy said...

I love Fun Dip.

LizzieDaisy said...

I don't know what was better, the post, or the sibling rivalry in the comment section. How awesome. I totally remember this situation myself. Funny though, it also reminds me to want to be the one to say, "I love you," first as well. :)

Great post. Good reminder. You rock.