I’ve Been Thinking … Hello, World!: Remembering My Father
When I was a high school freshman, my dad took over the morning routine from my mom, whose reign involved the usual nagging — time to get up… your breakfast is on the table… don’t forget your biology book… I said time to get up… you’re not wearing those jeans to school… is that mascara I see on your eyelashes?
With my dad in charge, things changed.
“Lovey,” he’d call out as he pulled the plastic shades and flipped on the light. “Let’s get to it! It’s gonna be a great day!”
If I waited for a moment, he’d be gone, doing the same drill next door with my older brothers, GT and Booker. He’d personalized his appeal with little add-ons like, “Booker, The Book Man, Citizen Book! You’re gonna ace that math test!” or “G, big game tonight! I’m seeing a hat trick!”
When his usual ruckus failed to get feet to floor, he’d walk down the hall to his bedroom and throw open the window. Cupping his hands around his mouth, he’d call out:
And then, playing back to himself in his one-man show, he’d flip to the role of World: “Hello, Georgie!”
“I’M COMIN’ OUT THERE TO GET YOU, WORLD!”
To which World would respond, as of course World would, “I’m waitin’ for ya, Georgie!”
And then he’d turn around and head back toward our bedrooms, making a certain kind of merry battle cry.
After a couple years of this, I could only deduce that the world was a safe place. In fact, according to my dad, the world was beyond safe — it had a sense of humor, it knew your name, it was waiting for you. Hell, it was even rooting for you.
Kelly Corrigan is the author of 4 New York Times bestselling memoirs about family life including Tell Me More, Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say.
This essay was featured in the Father’s Day edition of The Sunday Paper, Maria Shriver’s free weekly newsletter for people with passion and purpose. To get inspiring and informative content like this piece delivered straight to your inbox each Sunday morning, click here to subscribe.