A client was in my office yesterday with his little granddaughter. When he gave her a kiss, his whiskers rubbed on her cheek, causing her to make a face. When he told us why she had made the face, it took me back about four to five decades. Back to when I was a kid, and my dad used to play with my sisters and me by giving us whisker rubs. It was something Dad did when he was in a playful mood. He would come home from work, and we would gather around to greet him. Dad always loved to tease, and see if he could put a smile on our faces after his long day at work.
Dad’s 5 o’clock shadow would always scratch us when he would kiss us hello, and I suppose that was how it got started. Just like my clients little granddaughter, making a face at the scratchiness of her grandpa’s face, we probably made the same face. My guess would be that he thought our little face was so funny that he did it again to see that funny little face that looks a bit like a kid who just ate lemons. After a while, it became kind of like the “tickle torture” we had used on our sister, Caryl…a “weapon” used without warning to get a rise out of us.
I suppose people might wonder why such an act would be continued after the first time. Well, the answer would lie in the fact that after Dad would finish giving us the whisker rub, we would invariably say, “Do that again, Daddy!!” It was always a fun little goofy thing we had with Dad, and as we grew older, and had children of our own, they too, were introduced to the whisker rub. No one was exempt, nor did they want to be, because to be exempt, would have been to be left out of the fun.
My dad was a great dad and a great kidder. He brought fun and laughter to our home, and made each of his girls feel like princesses. We were so blessed. Family was the most important thing to him. He had so much love to give, and such a good heart. He was always doing fun little things to bring a smile to our faces and sunshine to the day. I miss those days…especially when I see a dad or grandpa playing with their little one or even accidentally doing something similar to the playful things my dad did…like the whisker rub!!!