Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Daddy Diaries: Daddy’s Little Girl

My dad has been enjoying laughing at my memories of dear mother, so I thought it only fair he get to be the subject of his share of reminiscent posts.

I was a daddy’s girl. Can’t you just see the spoiledness oozing from me in the picture?

I was bursting with cliché daddy’s girl behaviours and routines;
  • I sprinted to be pulled up into an in-air hug upon his arrival home from work;
  • I latched onto his leg, sitting on one of his feet, with one of my other sisters as co-pilot as we navigated around the house as his robotic, iron slippers;
  • I begged to sit in his lap on the stand at church promising, “I’ll be good!” and
  • According to my mother, wouldn’t even let her TOUCH the shopping cart if Dad was present, apparently crying, “Daddy do it!” from a very young age. Even if she pulled it lightly from the corner (as you do), rather than an outright push from the handle, I was onto her, and complaining. Horrid.

But one day, Daddy dearest crossed me. I will never forget the day the man who could do no wrong did wrong by me; the first day I tipped my head, and looked over the virtual rose-tinted glasses, and frowned. I wonder if mother silently cheered.

I remember for Family Home Evening we were watching Star Trek: The Next Generation – an unusual activity for FHE in our family – and I felt it was an exciting night. We were allowed to eat pizza in the living room (which was customarily forbidden).

The lights were dimmed (as they should be), and we all had small side plates to drag our wide, cheesy slices to rest on. I had eaten all I’d taken from the box, bar one piece of pizza I had left lying on my plate. I must have become absorbed in the narrative unfolding on screen, because I lost all peripheral vision and awareness of my surroundings for a time. I remember pulling myself back as the intensity of the action levelled out, and then remembering I still had one slice of pizza. There is nothing better than remembering something like that – it’s like unexpected change in a jacket pocket – I still had pizza! It was with this sweet anticipation of a prize waiting for me, that I turned around to relish my final piece.

My plate was bare.

My face must have flickered with fury, because I remember being laughed at, by my own family. I then remember the rising heat of embarrassment (my earliest memory of this emotion – and all because of a love affair with a slice of pizza). I also remember my dad’s guilty expression, and then his weak pleading that he thought I was finished, and he could “help me”. How wrong he was. Crushed anticipation has a bitter and abiding taste.

P.S. This photo is taken in the very room of said occurrence. I am sitting on the coffee table upon which the sacred piece of pizza lay, the couch behind me was to my left as I faced the entertainment unit.
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