My Dad’s Favorite Picture · 25 August 2013
My Dad’s favorite picture is one of our middle son, Thing 2, peeing in the lake.
Naturally, when Dad told me this picture was one of his favorites, I figured it was because I took it. That the composition was amazing and the lighting created the perfect mood. I figured it was his favorite because it was one of those sublime pictures that just make you say, “Wow!”
Actually, I had no such delusions of grandeur. I knew there was some other reason why it was one of his favorites.
As I thought about possible reasons, I figured Dad just liked the picture because it had sentimental value or evoked a special memory since it was a picture of one of his grandkids. Plus it was taken while we were all at the lake near Mom and Dad’s house. Both my parents were there when Thing 2 said he had to go to the bathroom and somebody said without even thinking that he ought to just pee in the water. Even had whoever actually thought about it, he might have figured Thing 2 would wade out into the water and discretely do his business like other people did instead of peeing in front of the whole world. As it was, he just pulled down his swimsuit and peed in the water like he was told he could. I just happened to have the camera out taking pictures of everybody enjoying the day at the water with each other.
(Of course, this all happened years ago and I could be making the story up, but that is how I remember it.)
As it turns out, the real reason Dad likes the picture of Thing 2 peeing in the lake is because it gives him a feeling of nostalgia. Not because he likes to think of our kids as those innocent youngsters from long ago, but because he thinks of his own days growing up on the farm. When Dad told us all that he really liked the picture of Thing 2 peeing in the water, he said it was because it made him think of the days when he was younger living on the farm.
As he was giving us this revelation, I thought that he would tell us some poignant, tear jerking story about growing up. Maybe some great memory he had about spending time with his parents or siblings. Instead, he said the picture reminded him of a simpler time when he could just go out in the fields and pee. That was it. No great revelation or anything heart wrenching.
Actually, Dad did give one revelation into his psyche. He said that he still went outside to pee every once in a while.
This might not have been a huge revelation if they lived out in the middle of nowhere instead of the middle of a development. Sure, they all have nice big lots, but still they only need to walk a few steps when they want to chat across the fence. So even though he said he only did the deed at night, we had a little bit of a shock. And then we all laughed.
Thinking back to the time when Dad revealed he still has those country roots and back further to when we were at the lake makes me nostalgic. Even though it has not been that long ago, life really was simpler back then.
I will not be going outside to pee anytime soon, but looking at old pictures makes me nostalgic too. And like my Dad, one of my favorite pictures is the one of my son peeing in the lake.
© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi
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