This is one of the best memories I have of my Dad.
When I was a kid, I really wanted a slip 'n slide. A specific slip 'n slide, in fact, that was advertised throughout morning cartoons and the TGIF line-up. I can't remember the exact name of this particular piece of slippery plastic, but I remember the sing-songy slogan that accompanied the commercial: "You run! You slide! You hit the bump, and then you DIVE!"
On the commercial, the slip 'n slide looked enormous. It showed teenager-sized kids running at full speed and then in slow motion it showed them landing on the slip 'n slide with huge waves of water pouring over them. After sliding down the massive slide, they would hit a huge bump and go plunging into the pool attached at the end. Sheer watery perfection.
My Dad knew how much I wanted this slip 'n slide and since California summers are a tad toasty, he decided to take me to Toys 'R Us one day to buy it. I was giddy. We searched the store until we found the massive display ... and saw the box that the slide came in. It was tiny. My Dad read the measurements on the box and realized the slide was seven feet long. He grimaced and put his hand over his head to show me how tall seven feet was. My little heart was broken. The commercial had LIED! With my head down, I told him it was okay, I didn't need the slide. And we left the store.
However, instead of going home, he took me to a hardware store. Puzzled, I followed him inside as we wandered to the back of the store. He pulled out a box labeled "BLACK TARP" and raised his eyebrows with a very sneaky smile. I had no idea what his plans were, but we bought the box and headed home. I went to my room while Dad stayed outside and a little while later, he called me down. I walked outside and couldn't believe my eyes:
Down the slope of our front yard laid a massive black slip 'n slide! It was five feet wide and thirty feet long. My Dad hooked a sprinkler up to the top, squirted some dish soap at the starting point, and had thusly created the most impressive and amazing slip 'n slide I had ever seen. My jaw dropped open in amazement. I jumped up and down, giddy to try it out. Within minutes every neighborhood kid was in our front yard, mesmerized by the massive piece of summer fun sprawling down our lawn.
We used that thing until it shred to pieces.
I thanked my Dad profusely, but I think it was the change in my countenance that pleased him the most. And now, as a parent, I get it.
Happy (late) Father's Day, Dad. :)
And thank you for the "above and beyond" moments.
Have a lovely day.