“Daddy’s One-on-One Calendar,” Friend, June 2000, 16
Brian has four brothers and one sister. They all live in a two-story house with their mother and father, a dog, a cat, two parakeets, and a turtle. It’s a crowded house and a sometimes noisy house, but it’s also a happy house and a hugging house.
In the kitchen, on the wall, next to the fridge, above the toaster, under the clock, is a calendar. It’s Daddy’s one-on-one calendar. Each month has each child’s name written on one of the days.
This morning, Brian gets out of bed and runs downstairs to look at the calendar. “Hurray—it’s June 10!” he shouts. “Today is my one-on-one day with Daddy.”
* * * * *
Last month on Brian’s day, he and Dad went to the park. Daddy pushed him in the swing and on the merry-go-round. They played together in the sandbox and built a sand castle. Brian had a lot of fun playing with Dad, but he thought that the best part was when they just talked.
He liked the talking time best because he learned things about Daddy, and Daddy learned things about him. Brian knew that his dad is a real estate agent, but last month he learned what that meant: His dad sells houses to people.
Dad asked Brian, “What is your favorite thing to do at school?”
Brian smiled and said, “I like to paint with my feet! I like the way it feels when the thick paint smushes through my toes.”
* * * * *
Brian likes being with his dad. He likes the way he feels when Dad takes his hand or hugs him or tells him that he loves him. Most of all, he likes it when Dad tells him what an important part of their family he is.
When it’s time for his one-on-one with Dad to begin, Brian kisses Mom and says good-bye to his brothers and sister. Then Dad takes his hand and they are off.
Today they go to a museum that has big dinosaurs and dinosaur bones. They share with each other all they know about dinosaurs. It’s funny, Brian thinks, how even Daddy looks very small standing next to those dinosaur bones.
Afterward, they have an ice-cream cone and talk about their day. Daddy tells Brian about the haircut he had that morning. “And when the barber was finished, he brushed the hair off my shirt with a soft brush.”
“I fell down and skinned my knee this morning,” Brian says as he points to his sore knee. I asked David to take the training wheels off my bike. Now it’s too hard to ride.”
“I’ll help you learn to ride your bike after dinner tonight,” Daddy says.
“That’s super, Dad!”
After Dad parks the car in the garage, he gives Brian a ride on his shoulders into the house. Then Brian hurries to the kitchen to look on the wall, next to the fridge, above the toaster, and under the clock. He flips the calendar up one page to make sure that his name is written on one of the days in July. “There it is—July 14!” he declares joyfully.