My father is known for being a touch narcoleptic. He could fall asleep standing up at an Iron Maiden concert. While someone hammers. And some Mulletville cycles roar by. And all of Junior’s toys rally together to sing their terrible, hokey songs.
In holiday photos, he’s the guy sacked out on the couch.
At my high school and college graduations, he was the guy sacked out on the couch.
At my wedding, he was the guy—no, I’m kidding, of course. My dear father would never have fallen asleep on my special day. Not even for a quick cat nap. And he definitely wouldn’t’ t have been discovered on one of the hotel lobby couches. Not a chance.
Over the years, my dad has taken a lot of ribbing for sleepiness. (I don’t know how things go down in your family, but the mantra in mine is “mock with reckless abandon, then mock some more.”) I’ve bought him every “I’m not tired, I’m just resting my eyes” t-shirt and card I could get my hands on. I even got a matching onesie for Junior—see?
After 11 years together, Chuck, like any astute animal that adopts the habits of the tribe its bred in to, has assumed the familial trait of monitoring my dad’s eyelids for signs of droop. Especially when dear Dad is behind the wheel and he’s a passenger. That’s how Chuck ended up driving more than 1,500 miles over the course of five days when he, my dad, and I took a trip to France a few years ago. About twenty minutes into the drive from the airport, en route to get my brother, Ted, from his French ex-girlfriend’s uncle’s brother’s house (it’s a long story), Chuck clenched my leg and said, “If your father doesn’t let me drive I’m going to have a heart attack.”
The reason I mention all of this (I have a point, really) is because last night the unimaginable happened. After all the years of mockery, Chuck and I both fell asleep on my father (no, not on him—we don’t do family pig piles).
At the wee hour of 9:15.
We awoke just as my father was opening the front door to let himself out.
And oh the look he gave us as he turned to wish us good night! I swear he clicked his heels on the way out. And I fear we are about to become the recipients of some acerbic t-shirts and mugs, ones that play on all the old adages of becoming middle-aged, overworked, overtired hags. You know, stuff like this…
Well, fine. We are old(er) and tired. I just didn't think my words would be quite so chewy on the way down.