Friday, January 13, 2006

of lakes and fathers and mothers of different sizes

This is the start of what I've named the Lake Erie Scarf. It's actually Here and There Cables from the ubiquitous Scarf Style. I'm knitting it in good ol' Cascade 220 Heathers, a nice affordable merino wool. The pic wasn't taken under optimal lighting, so it's hard to see that the color is a forest green with blue undertones. It's called Spring Night, and it's lovely. It's my first time doing cables and I have to say, I dig it. I've named it Lake Erie because it's a gift for my father's birthday this month and his name is Eric. So naturally we've always called him Erie. I've never known the origin of this nickname, seeing as it was attached to him like an arm before I came along. When I was little I assumed it was because Toledo sits on Lake Erie and we liked that idea so much that we gave my father the name. His other nickname is Sonny, which my grandmother calls him, but to most people he's Erie.

Up until recently, I, too, was on the Erie bandwagon. Calling him Dad, except in jest, never worked for me. When I was born, he was 19. My mother was 15. Once my maternal grandmother got me straight on the fact that she was not my mama and I should reserve that name for my actual mother who I'd called by her nickname, Sister, and call her, my grandmother, Big Mama, I did manage to refer to my mother as Mama. Or, rather, Little Mama. So there was Little Mama and Big Mama but my father, having no one to go to bat for him as "Daddy," was Erie. That is, until about five years ago when one day I thought to stop and ask him, Do you like being called Erie? To which he replied that his name is Eric, and as such that's his preference. Now I go forward, Eric tumbling awkwardly from my mouth when I refer to him in the presence of our family. Or, Hello, Eric, when I call him on the phone, which makes me feel like the tax man. But Eric, Erie, Sonny or Dad, I love my father and for someone who had a kid when he didn't have a clue (I know what that's like), he did alright. Like everyone I love, he's not playing with a full deck, but I wouldn't trade him for the world.


stevie mother is the ice cream lady to-DAY said...

I fell in with the others and call him Erie, even though the obvious lake reference always unsettled me for some reason.

All those names mean something to somebody. To me they will always be my other parents, Day-Day and Erie, frozen in that picture they took at the carnival? (after-school hop? circus? party?) His arms around her, Day-Day smiling that patience happy smile of hers, (which you adopted while raising The Boy). You weren't even born yet - the perfect product of the Day-Day/Erie factory. Or were you?

sappmama said...

la la la, la la la la. Seems I was always born. It's a good thing, too, 'cause I know you. :)