Four years ago yesterday my father died from cirrhosis of the liver. Last year I wrote a post on my personal blog , and I promised I would write a story about him every year, on this day, to keep his memory alive. This entry is keeping that promise.
My father loved to teach me things prematurely.
Since my father was a teacher, he taught me everything like the academic he was. He always had a scientific seriousness about it. There were charts, pictures, and any other teaching aid he thought would help me understand what he was teaching.
My first memory of my father giving me a premature lesson was when I was six. He taught me about sex- “where babies come from,” as he put it. And when he told me about sex, he told me about how everyone had sex: how women and men had sex, how women and women had sex, and how men and men had sex. The consummate professional, he was thorough to a fault. My guess is he wanted to tell me before it was too late, before I was too embarrassed to be seen with him and too cool to listen to anything he said.
This lesson was among the first things Dad told me not to tell my Mom; but I was small so I ran and told her everything. She was not happy. She was not happy at all. I remember overhearing him tell my mom, “I wasn’t going to tell her some stork s***.”When you mix the tough, no nonsense edge of a Marine with the brilliance and patience of an academic and stir, you get Allen Bridges.
A couple years later my father would also teach me about my menstrual cycle. I