Friday, October 26, 2007

I Won't Give It Up

What won't I give up you ask? This sweatshirt.

It's just not any ole gray hooded, front pocketed thermal-on-the-inside you see. It's one just like my Dad used to wear. For work. For the 25 years he did construction/concrete foundations. In New England. In the freezing cold. From 5:30am till 6pm if not later. For 6 days a week.

My Dad missed A LOT by working this schedule. But it allowed my Mom to stay at home with us 4 kids, in a town with a superb school district. It allowed all 4 of us kids to take 2 extra curricular activities each growing up (a sports and a musical instrument). It allowed us to have vacations to show us other parts of the country. It allowed for trips to the movie theater for those rainy afternoons and dinner out on lazy Sunday evenings. Mom was always at our school for school plays and classroom parties. And all this was because of the long, hard hours my Dad, who didn't have a college education, put in, to make a better life for his kids.

In the summers, and sometimes on spring or fall Saturdays my brother and I would go to work with him. We'd get up before the sun was, eat breakfast, bundle up in warm clothes, get in the truck and drive on the dark highways. But when we got to the job site and the sun was up we had the best sandbox a kid could ask for. We got to eat lunch out of the big cooler my Dad had. We got to play with our cousins who tagged along with our uncle (Dad and his brother worked together). We got to get dirty. And we got to spend time with Dad.

I've had this sweatshirt for about 20 years. It was the last sweatshirt I had when I stopped going to work with my Dad. I was a teenager and had my own part time job and friends to hang out with. But I've never given up this sweatshirt. I don't wear it anymore. It would be like making new memories and erasing old ones. So, it sits in my closet under all my other sweatshirts. But I also can't give it up. It has too many memories about my Dad, about my family, about my childhood in it.


zdoodlebub said...

I loved reading this. It reminded me of the same sweatshirts my dad and grandpa would wear to do farm work. It even brought back smells. Good ones. Of gasoline and sweat and stuff. Thanks!

Toni said...

This really reminded me of my dad who sounds a lot like yours.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories...

Amy said...

Awww, what a great post. Thanks for sharing. And for participating.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post!