For Dre Forst, memories of her father’s thoughtfulness mark her childhood.
Every night after getting home from school I would patiently wait for my father’s arrival. I would do kid things to pass time- play with chalk, jump off walls, watch television, do my homework. Come dinner, I would run out to his car and give him a hug. When my father came home for the day all in the house seemed to come alive. The lights got brighter. The conversations got more interesting. All was safe. We would eat dinner as a family and then spend time in each other’s company. Then we would go to sleep for the night and do it all again the next day.
Every morning my dad got up at 5:30 AM. Now I used to think this time was ridiculous seeing as I got up at seven to start my day. Two less hours of sleep seemed insane! Nowadays I’m lucky to even get two hours of free time. Sometimes my father would open the door to my room and come in and kiss my forehead. Or he would write me a note and leave it on the foot of my bed. Or he would just peep in. Being a 7 year old girl I was a very observant creature. Waking up to slight sounds was nothing new to me, so when he did this I could hear him stepping towards my room (we all know how sweet the sound of wood talking is). I would awaken but keep my eyes shut.
After I heard his car drive away I would get up and sneak up the stairs. The sun would be rising and the light from the book case would keep me company. The kitchen was always empty and clean and the green light never failed to be on and glowing, showing that the coffee my dad saved for my mom was staying heated. The light above the stove was always lit, for some reason in the morning it looked extra bright. As quietly as I could, I would crack open the door to the refrigerator and see what I was always saw. My dad, my precious, loving father, had poured a bowl of the cereal we had open in the cabinet and put a cup or so of milk into a glass. Even a spoon was sitting in the dry cereal. Sleepy as could be, I loved that sight. The feeling of grabbing the cold bowl and spoon from the fridge and slogging over to the couch is one I can’t describe but it sure did feel good. Being the only one awake in my whole house and sitting in blankets watching the early morning cartoons really is something. Then the sun would come up 15 minutes later, and I would crawl back down the stairs and lay in bed until my mom came to pick out my clothes and get me up.
Photo credit: “Father and Daughter and a Harpswell Sunset 02” by smilla4 on Flickr