Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Remembe(RED): Daddy's Girl

As a child, I was a pro at pretending to be asleep, or at least I liked to think so. I got plenty of practice at it during the summers, when I had no particular bedtime and was given the freedom of staying up late into the night with my parents and big sister. I loved these moments with my family. We'd all be gathered around the TV, usually watching some sporting event, cheering and lamenting in equal measure. I felt very adult staying up late with them, catching glimpses of what life was like for a grown up.

During the school year, when my bedtime was very structured, I would lie in bed for what seemed like hours, listening to the rest of my family giggle and talk and carry on. I was convinced that they waited for me to go to bed just so that they could have their laughs and all of their fun. For an active and hyper little girl, the antics of my family after my bedtime were almost too much to bear.

But the summers were different. The summer days would melt into summer nights, and I would get away with staying up and experiencing those rousing parties.

Invariably, at some point during these magical evenings, my parents would start discussing how it was time for me to go to bed. I would cringe and protest a little, but mainly, I'd bide my time and begin showing off my incredible fake sleeping skills. First, I'd turn towards the back of the couch. Facing the back of the couch meant I could cover my face more easily and no one would see my eyes if they accidentally blinked open. Once perfectly situated against the back of the couch, I would curl myself into as compact a little ball as possible. Then I would begin breathing slowly, deliberately. For good measure, I'd throw in a cute little snore from time to time.

And then all of that preparation and acting would lead up to one moment, one incredible moment of pure joy in my little girl's heart. Daddy, having been properly convinced of my fake sleeping (yeah, right), would lift me carefully into his arms and carry me off to bed.  And in his arms, I knew true love and affection. Sometimes, after a particularly bad day at work, I wish I could use my fake sleeping skills and have Daddy carry me to bed one last time.

This memory was written for the Red Dress Club's memoir prompt on affection.



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