Last month, when I went up to Cincinnati, I got to see my Dad. It’s the first time I’ve seen him without my kids since Caroline was born. We had an awesome lunch, and he gave me my birthday present. Now, Dad and I don’t typically exchange gifts. Only when we’ve found something worth giving, really.
He had been hinting about this present for months. He kept saying “You are gonna blister me when you see this thing”. I couldn’t imagine. Because Dad has pulled some very strange gifts out of thin air in the past. He got our family a Toboggan for four when we lived in Lexington, KY. We didn’t exactly have opportunities to use it. But he’s also given me some really cool useful things. He got me an ergonomic shaped purse one year that I carried for something like a decade until right after we moved down here. (A moving day accident involving Sam, WD-40, a can of paint, and the garage rendered the purse and most of its contents insalvageable.)
So it would be an understatement to say my curiosity was piqued. A big understatement. Dad insisted that as long as I packed right, I’d be able to tuck this thing into a carry-on bag for the plane, which pretty much eliminated ‘replacement toboggan’. But other than that, I knew it could be a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.
When I met Dad for lunch, he had a gleam of excited mischief on his face, and a big box beside him on the table. I took his picture with my phone to commemorate the meeting.
We ate, and we visited for something like an hour before the subject of the gift came around. Suddenly he was nervous. He had, after all, been working himself up since October with this thing.
The present came out of the box in parts. First, there was a compartmentalized bag. (And I was waayyy too impatient to photograph the bits as I removed them.) I said, “Nice bag.” And even as I said it, I was thinking huh, looks like… and before the thought fully formed, I looked back in the box and saw what had been beside the bag in transit.
…a camera bag. “It is a camera bag!” I said.
And is it ever a camera bag. My Dad got me a Canon T3 Rebel. I have been BEGGING Scott to consider investing in an expensive SLR camera, and this is what I’ve had my eye on. Dad and Scott had not been in contact. Dad had no idea. He just went out on a limb and got it. Also, he got me a fantastic lens. At the wedding I was in town to attend that very night, I got tons of compliments from my Auntie Em and even the professional photographer.The photographer (who taught me how in the hell to use the thing, by the way – really awesome guy) said many kit cameras are just glorified, heavier, handhelds. But the Rebel (as this thing appears to be nicknamed) is classy. I have barely put it down since December. I’ve taken wedding pictures, baptism pictures, train pictures, kid pictures, everything. Dad followed up at Christmas with a long range zoom lens. Can I just say that I think I’m taken care of for the next decade or so? I don’t think I can ever remember a birthday present this awesome in my entire life. Not one. It’s something I wanted SO badly but probably wouldn’t have gotten on my own. It’s something I’ll enjoy for a very long time. It’s a gift and memory that I’ll always treasure. Thanks, Dad.