Sunday, May 06, 2007

Gasping for air

As the ocean waves washed over my dad’s head, only bobbing up now and then for air, gasping on a day when the waves were larger than normal, my three-year-old frame clung around his neck, my legs dangling over his shoulders onto his chest, him grasping me by the shins, not able to wipe away the foam when white water rolled in at us.

He would say, “Get ready…take a breath!” and we’d punch through a wave, usually my head clearing the top of it but not always. We went to where it was deep, even where he was on tippy-toes.

I laughed and laughed.

I held onto him around the jaw and put my chin on his head. His whiskers, unshaven on a Saturday morning at the beach, scratched the soft palms of my pre-school hands. His head felt secure on top of a solid body. A dad’s body.

At night he wore his green and white checkered seersucker jacket with the tie that my mom made out of fabric she found that matched the jacket. He wore a yellow shirt, and a photo showed him beaming next to my mom, her with a black-and-white dress and a red carnation, standing on our front porch, getting ready to go to a cocktail party. She was smiling, too.


photo: weirdvis

1 comment:

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dootz,
Very nice writing. I liked the piece on your mom and dad. Thanks for your comments on today's post. I appreciate it greatly!

Susan