Thursday, December 6, 2007

Holding Hands with Dad

Yesterday I was returning to work from getting a new haircut (it's way cute) and enjoyed a rare opportunity to take a look around town and listen to some good tunes as I drove. (Stevie Wonder's Songs In The Key Of Life, only one of the finest albums ever recorded in our lifetime, IMHO, but I digress. . .)

I was stopped behind a school bus with flashing red lights. Out hopped a little girl, maybe seven or eight; her father, hands in pockets, waited on the corner for her. He was patient, as was I, as she performed the very important task of waving goodbye to the bus driver and her school mates. The door closed, the lights stopped flashing, and father and daughter grasped hands and turned to walk home. Rather, dad walked. The little girl skipped with such momentum that she bounced down the sidewalk like a blue-jeaned ball.

I wondered how their conversation went, how she answered the standard, "How was school today?" and what super major events occurred with her friends on the playground at recess.

I smiled, immediately taken back to my childhood--holding hands with my Dad, walking the block-and-a-half to church on Sunday mornings with my brothers and my Mom.

In winter, my legs would freeze, even though Mom would have put them in thick cable-knit tights. The short walk would seem miles long.

I skipped, slid on snow, or walked doubletime to keep pace with Dad's brisk pace. He would let me lag behind and then pull me so I'd have to run. It made me giggle every time. It was our ritual.

I don't know how many Sundays were spent walking to church holding my Dad's hand. I don't know if we knew the last time we did it would be the last time.

But I have always remembered, even though I was so small I had to reach straight up with my arm to put my small hand in his big, safe one.


Professor J said...

That is the sweetest thing I've read this morning. Thank you.

Claire B. said...

Thanks, Professor J! You made my day.