On the occasion of Father’s Day, I’d like to share with you a story coming all the way from Austalia. No! Wait, Switzerland. My dad and the ant hill. This story is an adult recollection of my childhood memories. It was one of those amazing colorful fall days. The air was crisp but the sun nice and warm. We’ve been out there on one of our usually hikes with a picnic in the middle of it as a highlight.
On our hike, we’ve already picked some mushrooms and berries and discovered numerous little fairy huts. My brother and my mom were slightly behind us, probably still chasing the troll my brother had spotted. Oh! Those trolls… They were everywhere. Hiding behind trees, under bridges or behind boulders.
My dad and I had spotted an anthill and observed the dynamic on and around it.
“Take a stick and gently put it on top of the anthill. Just the way I do it.” I watched my dad how he picked up a stick and gently put it on this rather massive anthill. In no time, the stick was covered in ants. He let them crawl over it and after a little while lifted the stick and shook them off.
“Now we have one of nature’s lollies”
My dad smiled at me. “Do you want to try?” I shook my head, not sure if he was serious or not. After all, he had collected some of Bambi’s poo and had put it in my mom’s bed, covered by the blanket, to prank her by telling her that he had put a selection of chocolate in there for her. And that was only the week before this hike.
My dad smiled again and without hesitation licked the stick where just only seconds before heaps of ants had been.
“It’s so sweet. You have to try. Trust me!”
Of course, I trusted my dad. Why wouldn’t I? I always trusted him. I took the stick and licked it and to my surprise, it really tasted sweet and not yuck at all. Sweet but in a way sour too. Tasty. I took another lick. He watched me while I tried nature’s Lollie. I still remember his happy and content smile.
“What does make it so sweet?” I asked him.
“It’s the ant’s pee.” He said with a wide grin on his face.
Yep, I licked ants pee when I was a child…
Our dad took us on hikes and picnics on a regular base. Not only did he show us the beauty of nature in the area where we grew up but he also taught us as much of what he knew as possible. Sometimes, when watching Bear Grylls, I remember little things my dad taught us. Stuff, which definitely would help to survive if I would ever get lost. Well… at least in Switzerland…
My dad was a great dad. He was always there for us. The fact that he was so much older than my mom and could have easily been our granddad for sure helped him be around all the time. He had his business running smoothly and was long over the crazy years. All his energy and effort were spent on us kids and the little adventures he took us on will never be forgotten.
I’m glad to have found a husband who wants to be there for his kids as much as my dad wanted to be there for us. In a way, history repeats itself. Not in the fact that my husband is much older than I am (which he is not) but in how much time he wants to spend with our kids.
A dad’s role:
So often we talk about the important role of a mom and forget how important the role of a dad is as well. There always has to be a Yin and Yang in life for balance. As much as children need a mom, they also need a dad. Unfortunately in some cases, they will not have both of them around. I’m just glad I had the chance to grow up with a mom and a dad. A Ying and a Yang., being there for me. Always. And I’m glad to see that my kids have the same privilege.
It’s a pleasure to see how they interact with their father, how he can teach them different things than I do, how he can trigger different thoughts and the different kinds of the way he is there for them.
My kids have the privilege to grow up with this Ying and Yang in their life. They have the privilege to spend as much time with their dad as they spend with me. They have the privilege to have a dad who wants to be there and doesn’t shut the door in front of their nose when he comes back from work just because he needs some “me time”.
My kids might never lick ant pee, but they go on so many different adventures with their dad and myself. Adventures that make memories. Memories that will always be in their mind. Stories they will one day tell their kids. And who knows… maybe one day one of my grandkids will get the chance to gently put that stick on the anthill to then taste nature’s lollie…
My dad has dementia nowadays. He does no longer recognize me when I call. As much as I’m sad about it, there is a side to me that still is happy. Happy and grateful. Grateful for all the memories he created when I was younger. Thankful for all the memories I can cherish forever and that will never be taken from me. I’m not sure if I will see him again but in a way, it doesn’t matter as he’s always there with me, in my heart. With all the silly stories he told, the hikes he took us on, the adventures we had, all the conversations we had. I have memories of spending quality time with my dad and not only see him come and leave. This will never be taken away from me, from us.
To all the dads out there:
You are as important for your children as their mom is. Don’t doubt it. But you also have a responsibility to be there for them even if you are exhausted. Sometimes it’s not possible to always be around physically. But as long as you show your children that you’re there for them, you will always be a part of this Ying and Yang.
So to all dads: Happy Father’s Day! We love you and we need you in our lives!
About Sandra: Founder of A Momma’s View, Sandra is a mother of two. In her words, “I think my kids are great and I enjoy having them around me. As a homeschooling family, we do get plenty of time to spend together and I truly appreciate it. Love, manners, and respect for each other are two things we focus on in our family. There are so many things that make a great family. For some reason, we seem to have found the ingredients. At least so far. But this is of course only my view, A Momma’s View“
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