Waiting for Daddy

When my father was around 7 years old, his brother and some other kids on the farm caught a possum. They had been trying to catch the possum to keep it out of the chicken coop and were finally successful. Possums are nocturnal animals and while they put on a big show, they aren't nearly as vicious as they look. They hiss or squawk, and the act of "playing possum" makes their lips curl back and their mouth foam, but they're not really going to mess you up.

When you're 7, though, and your 12 year old brother is carrying around this wild animal it seems like things are about to get out of control and very fast. He was convinced they should wait for my grandfather to get back from the field so he could handle this fierce creature. My father fretted around calling out "Wait 'til Daddy come! Wait 'til Daddy come!"

(Note that in an East Carolina accent Daddy is actually pronounced Detty, so it's more like "Wait teal Detty come!")

My uncle teased my father for years after that. Anytime something happened that spooked him, Uncle Curtis would squeal "Wait 'til Daddy come!" It obviously made an impression since my Daddy told me this story 50 years after the fact.

My brother and I don't tease each other, but we both occasionally have moments of waiting 'til Daddy come. I know this has annoyed Rich in the past when I obviously am counting on my father's opinion to help guide me. But now that we have a child of our own, I hope that for many years Ian will look to his own father for what to do, even well into adulthood.

I hope that all of you have someone you can turn to for difficult decisions, or at least to dispose of the pesky possums of your life.