28 September 2005

The Flying Wandellas

My dad and I used to do this thing called “The Flying Wandellas.” At least that’s what it has always been called in my memory.

[Tonight, after trying unsuccessfully to Google: Wandellas, Juandellas, and One-Dellas to confirm the spelling, I finally gave up and called my mom who informed me that it’s actually “The Flying WALLENDAS.” Apparently they are German. A famous team of acrobats.]

Anyhow, my dad and I used to do this thing that I called “The Flying Wandellas.”
Here’s how it went:

We’d be in the family room watching TV, or sometimes my dad would have just come home from work and I would say, always with excitement, “Can we do the flying wandellas?!” Or every once in awhile when I wasn’t expecting it, he would shout, “It’s time for THE FLYING WANDELLAS!” and he’d pick me up by my waist and flip me over his head and onto his shoulders like a real acrobat, and I would stand up on them while he held my feet. Standing on his shoulders! What balance I had for a six year old. What strength was in his hands.

Hmm, now I am thinking that maybe I actually just sat on his shoulders like you see little kids doing at the zoo or the carnival when they get tired of walking. But that would not be very daring on my part…nor is it particularly acrobatic (eliminating the need to name it after a group of acrobats)…so I am sticking to my first recollection…I think I stood up there.

I do remember actually holding my arms up into the air and being able to reach almost to the top beam of the vaulted ceiling in our family room, which my mind must be exaggerating, because considering that even with my arms raised I was probably only four feet tall, that would mean in order for me to reach the ceiling beam, my dad would've had to be on very high stilts (which he wasn’t…he was in dress loafers), OR he would have to be something like 11 feet tall.

Still, I was up there pretty high, and I would stand there imagining oohs and aahs from the crowd below. Then, for no particular reason (perhaps this is what the real-life WALLENDAS do), we would both yell, “THE FLYING WANDELLAS!!” before he flipped me back down again onto my feet.

I talked to Jeremy’s mom on the phone today and she told me about when Jeremy was little, how his dad Russ used to pick him up and swing him all around, and how much he loved it. She was talking about how much as children (even grown ones), we really do adore our fathers.

It made me remember The Flying Wandellas and how great that was--to be small enough to stand on the shoulders of my dad, and be able to touch the sky.


Andrew Osenga said...

Thanks for that, Kierstin. Reading that made me so happy that I get to be a dad...

Steve said...

Sweet ideas! Thanks for posting. When I was looking for new kitchen cabinets I went with these guys. Great prices and selection.