Freeze Frame of my Dad

Last night I listened to my husband sing Davey Crocket to our kids as we traveled home from a local Family Fun Fest. He inflected his voice just so and took me traveling back to a memory of my Daddy. I was five or six, wearing a bathing suit in our backyard even though we didn’t have a pool. I was swinging as high as I could on our little swing-set, one of my sister’s sitting on the adjacent swing. My Dad was there, wearing bright red short shorts left over from the late seventies, his knee socks pulled up as high as they go. He had bushy brown hair then, and combed it to the side. He was standing behind us, testing the strength of our swing-set as he gave us big push after big push while we screamed out in mock terror/true delight.  He sang the Davey Crocket song as he pushed, inflecting his voice to sound like a burly man that could wrestle a bear with his own bare hands, too.

My memories of childhood are full of images of my Dad as protector, my Dad as fearless. But he loved to play with us, too, and sing to us, dance with us and cheer us on. Last night, as I listened to my husband sooth our overtired and restless kids with the strength of his voice and the inflection of his words, I couldn’t help but wonder what moments will become the freeze frames of their childhood. Whenever I think about my Dad I go to this image from 1986, this playful, laughing image of my Dad showing a soft side to his girls. Whenever I think about my Mom I picture her backstage at my dance recitals, prepared with 12 different kinds of snacks, two new coloring books, a surprise new card game and nothing more important to do then sit there and keep me company.

A few days ago I was toweling off my hair after a shower when I saw Twinkle get out of bed. The way she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, slowly allowing this glow of radiance to enter her face and bring out an enormous smile, I was overcome. I blurted out “you are so beautiful, Twinkle.” She walked over to me, threw her arms lazily around my waist, rested her head on my arm and replied, “you too, mom, even though you are getting old and lumpy.”

I love that moment so much. I am getting older, getting lumpier, and becoming more beautiful than even in my daughter’s eyes. I think that moment will be one of the freeze frames of my memories of her childhood.

About TT&NB

Wife, Mother, grant writer, professional do-gooder and friend
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27 Responses to Freeze Frame of my Dad

  1. Christina says:

    I have tears in my eyes after reading this. It was SO beautiful. I love the image of your dad (reminding me a lot of my dad back in the day– the short shorts, the socks all the way up to his knees).🙂 And the ending? Perfection. Great piece and I can’t wait to check out more.

    If you have the time and are interested there’s a great little writing group called Yeah Write for bloggers who write and writers who blog. We link up (there are guidelines) every Tuesday & Wednesday then vote on Thursday. It’s a fantastic community, and I think this post would be perfect for it: http://yeahwrite.me/challenge-120/2/.

  2. Erica M says:

    Yes, please check us out! Don’t get too caught up in the FAQ and guidelines. This post you’ve written today would be a great addition to the writing challenge. If you need help figuring out how to submit it, let Christina or me know.

  3. Awwww, so awesome to have our lumpy selves loved! Great memories, great post!

  4. Karen says:

    This is a beautiful post. I loved the interaction between you and your daughter, you captured a perfect moment.

  5. I’m so glad that you linked this to the Yeah Write grid. It is a sweet tale nicely told.

  6. aw, i love your freeze frame moment. i often wonder as well, what moments will stick in the children’s brain. i hope they are the good ones.😉

  7. So glad you posted this on Yeah Write, I really enjoyed reading it, it felt so genuine.

  8. Great post, and welcome to yeah write! I love the imagery you share and the way you weave together stories of your dad and your daughter.

  9. nataliedeyoung says:

    What a gorgeously crystallized memory of childhood and how it relates to the now.

  10. Beautiful story! Watching my husband with our kids made me fall more deeply in love with him than anything that he could have done for me. So glad your kids have what sounds like a dad as great as yours…

    • TT&NB says:

      Exactly. Nothing is a bigger turn on, either, than watching my husband act like a perfectly foolish being for the sake of hearing our children laugh

  11. mamarific says:

    Oh, very sweet! Love the idea of freeze-frame moments.

  12. Linda Roy says:

    Sweet. Just so sweet. Lump in my throat, tears in my eyes sweet. I loved this so much.

    • TT&NB says:

      Thank you! I tried to leave a comment on your blog about the time I cut my daughter’s sandwiches into woodland animal shapes and carved her name into a banana so she would never again tell me someone else’s mom made a better PB & J but i kept getting booted. I loved your post about waffles, it made me laugh until tears rolled down my face.

  13. This is so beautiful! I love the idea of the “freeze frame” and your daughter’s words are priceless.

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