He wanted to be surprised because he just knew you were going to be a boy. I figured hey I guess this was the closest he would get so I always went a long with it. On top of that I was a tomboy so I guess it made it easier for him to ask me to come learn about something so minuscule in my life at the time. I went out to the car with my father and he had a smirk on his face and said, Felicia, dads going to teach you how to change your oil because when you get older and you finally get yourself a car this will save you a lot of money.
As always I said ok, When he gave me the smirk I think he knew deep inside how much I didnt care or if I would even remember, but he did it anyway. He slid under the car and just talked and talked and talked the whole time. I didnt remember anything he said because I couldnt see it for myself so my mind would just start wondering. The most I did was hand him tools, but that was as good as it got. My father lived with his father, and thats where I would stay. I was riding my bike in a circle around the house because I wasnt aloud to leave the 2 acres of land that we had.
Off in the distance I noticed my father and my oldest brother mowing the lawn and it looked fun. I was a very bored so I decided to ask my father if I could help mow the lawn. I jump off my bike leaving it in the drive way and run over to my father in the shed. I see my father in the shed putting oil in the lawn mower. I noticed that the lawn mower that my father was putting oil in didnt look anything like the lawn mower my brother was pushing in the extremely hot sun. This lawn mower I could sit on and ride. So I walk over to ask him. I said I said Hey dad what are you doing? he said, putting in the oil to mow the lawn.
So I asked Can I mow the lawn? He was very hesitant for a min and looked at me and smirked and said Now Felicia your to young to mow the lawn, this isnt a toy. I was determined to ride on that lawn mower even more because he didnt think I could. I just said I know its not a toy, but Im not doing anything else. He didnt respond back to me let alone give me eye contact so I went back into the house. After that I didnt feel like doing anything, not even ride my bike so I just sat down and watched the 5 channels of television that we did have.
About 20 minutes later he came in the house and said Felicia, come on Imma teach you how to ride the lawn mower. I was kind of surprised that he changed his mind, but then again I really wasnt. Once I went out there and learned it, I had the most fun! Now I will admit I didnt cut the grass as neatly as he did because most of the time I acted as if I was driving a car. My father would stand in the yard and watch me. He never corrected me or told me to slow down. It was as if he was proud and I took interest in something that he liked to do.
Every weekend when a thing calmed down and there wasnt much left to do around the house my father and I would go for a car ride. He lived in Hereford, MD, which is very country with a ton of land, and he would drive all around the windy roads and talk to me about life and how I need to work hard to get to where I want to be in life. After everything he would always end his rants with, Felicia you dont understand now, but you will when you get older. I hated hearing that. I always knew that I understood him now, but I really didnt. Just the other day my father and I went for a ride.
It wasnt an intentional ride, but I was helping him move furniture. My father and I havent had a ride like this since I was about 14 years old. I am now 27. A lot has changed since our talks. Once again I caught myself trying to convince my father how I understand everything he is saying, but this time I truly did understand and he didnt question my understanding either. My father and I didnt do the typical things that I young girl would do with her father. I can actually tell you how many times that we actually went anywhere that was really fun.
We would play catch, tennis, and badminton and have big cookouts. We had our times at the movies and the pizza buffet, but the times that meant most to me were the car rides and the little life lessons. As I am older now I reflect upon the struggles that my father would speak of. I wish that I could remember how to change my oil, but the only thing I can remember now is how to check my oil. I now understand that my father never really knew how to be sensitive or tell me about boys, but he showed me that he loved me in the only way that he could.
I think that I always knew that, thats why I have always aimed to please him and have him be proud of me. My father is a very stern man and he shows tough love. I have learned that love comes in all forms, and just because someone may not show it like the next person doesnt mean that its not there. I know now that the way he loves has passed down to me because I tend to treat my children the same way. I am not as sensitive with my children because I was never really given hugs all the time and shown affection. I never once doubted that I wasnt loved, but I try to embrace my children more and not only show them but tell them.