“I Got Up Scared Daddy”

This is a song my daddy wrote either while he was a school teacher, or after he retired when I was young.  He taught English and History in middle school.  I have fond memories, faded though they are, of the excitement of going to visit him in his classroom.  Extra excitement if I got to help him in his classroom.  I can still see the long hall, with his classroom door on the left, and farther down, the doors with big glass windows to the outside where they would play.  The doors were heavy, and the bar to push it open was high for me.  The uncarpeted floors were shiny, and it all smelled of school.  I remember thinking how cool all these older kids were and how lucky they were to have my daddy as a teacher.  It was a big place for a small girl.  And I always felt like I was on a big adventure when I went.   Sometimes we would see a few students.  Sometimes his eyes would change when he would look at them, like his heart jumped into his eyes all of the sudden and they wanted to tell a story that he couldn’t tell.    I was younger than his students at the time, so I didn’t understand the changing eyes, only that it happened. He was deeply affected by the stories of some of the children in his classes.  He was always drawn to those who were struggling.  I’ve often wondered if there was one kid he wrote about.  Or if he wrote about all of them together.  In my mind, I always saw a small boy, younger than his students would have been.  Blonde, small for his age, with his head down.  He never looked up.  And I never saw his face.  But I knew he was a sad child.  I was an awkward sort in my youth.  Plain, and homey, at least I thought so.  I was lucky to have friends to talk to.  Often, I would find a way to look busy so that it wasn’t obvious that I was alone.  Or I’d eat donuts outside the lunchroom so that I wouldn’t have to wonder if I’d be sitting by myself to eat.  My older brother was my hero when I was a girl.  He was handsome, and really smart, and popular, and got invited to parties, and was never alone even if he wanted to be.  In high school, whenever he could, he would include me in his group of friends.  And every day that he was my friend was a day that I was real happy.  I didn’t stay awkward forever.  But I remember the homey girl like it was yesterday.  Some things never leave us.   I learned to make my own happiness, and to make friends, and to have fun, and find all the great things about my life.  (yay me!)  But I still remember my child heart.

I long time ago, I heard someone say  that “remember” is the most important word in the english language.  And I knew immediately that it was true.  Because if I didn’t have this memory tucked deep in my mother heart, I might not notice when one of my own was struggling.  Because I wouldn’t recognize the eyes that tell the story that only the heart knows.  Or when God touches the heart of my children in small uneventful ways.  Remembering is what this blog is all about.  You get a glimpse into the things I would never think of to say, because writing comes from a place far away from the words that we speak.  A place our words rarely find.  I think my daddy wanted to tell the story that couldn’t be told except with writing and with song.  He succeeded.  This song is tender.  This song is about many of us who have stories hidden behind our eyes, tucked deep and away.  This song will spark a remembering for each of us.  Of sometime.  Or someone.  And maybe we had forgotten.  But the song tugs on the heart strings and pulls the remembering out of the place where it is hidden.

Excuse the bad video taken with my iPhone, I’m better at photos with my camera.  Remember this was taken during our family reunion this past summer, so we are all sitting outside enjoying one another.  So there is background noise, particularly our grand baby Bentley…that’s who you’ll hear in the background.  This is particularly difficult to hear with Papa’s weak voice, so I asked him to send me the lyrics so that you would know what he is singing.  Read them, and then just sit and enjoy:

This is a song I wrote called: I Got Up Scared Daddy

I got up scared Daddy,

Earlier than I usually do,

I had to talk to you Daddy,

I don’t want to go to school.

Verse One

Yesterday in our classroom, Daddy,

The teacher asked questions of Sue,

And Sue gave back all the answers,

Something that I couldn’t do.

Then the teacher called some to the blackboard,

And I got to go up there too,

The teacher then said let’s do fractions,

Something that I couldn’t do.

Chorus

I got up scared Daddy,

Earlier than I usually do,

I just had to talk to your Daddy,

I don’t want to go to school.

Verse Two

Later on out on the playground,

Some kids pushed and called me names,

They laughed that I wasn’t smart, Daddy,

And it made me feel ashamed.

Back down the hall to the classroom,

I looked at the clock on the wall,

Just one more hour, Daddy,

And the bell would be sending me home.

Chorus

I got up scared, Daddy,

Earlier than I usually do,

I just had to talk to you, Daddy,

I don’t want to go to school.

Tag

Why can’t I learn fast, Daddy

The way the other kids do

I just had to talk to you, Daddy,

Please don’t make me go to school

 

 

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