Friday, July 20, 2012

#RealFatherhoodStories: Shannon of Lady's Makes and Bakes

Connect Four

By Shannon, Lady's Makes and Bakes

Connect Four was our game. The game that my daddy and I played in the living room on the brown, shaggy carpet in the evenings before bed. I remember being "red" and he "black" because he always let me choose my color, and I wanted red. He was smoke and I was fire. This was our time together. Instead of watching a TV program before bed, we played Connect Four.

My hair was always freshly washed, damp and braided, leaving a trail of water dripping down the middle of my back. My jammies consisted of my daddy’s old mustard- yellow basketball jersey, number twenty-five. It was his, so I loved it.

When it was my turn he would let me take as long as I needed, sometimes staring at the board for several minutes at a time, carefully planning my next move. And the move after that, and the move after that, all the while anticipating his next series of moves. I was a seven-year-old little girl savoring every precious moment.

He didn't let me win. And this fierce competition made me learn strategy, patience, and how to win (and lose) gracefully. At least I think he didn’t let me win.

I remember the overwhelming excitement when I realized I had him "trapped." That no matter where he went, on my next move I would win. I remember the anxiety I felt when I had three red game pieces in a row, praying he didn't see it, and trying my very best not to look in that direction.  I remember the disappointment I felt when I saw his black game piece land, the fourth in a row, therefore losing. 

I remember begging for "just one more game!" trying to stay up later than I was supposed to. Sometimes he'd let me, and I felt like I was getting away with murder. Sometimes it was bed time. 

I was never overly disappointed upon losing, for I knew I would have another chance at redemption the next night. I also tried not to gloat upon winning, for I knew he would probably win the next game.

I was a seven-year-old little girl who had just gone to bed after playing Connect Four with my daddy. A little girl who didn’t know that it was the last time I would play this game with my daddy. The last time that I would spend quality time with my daddy. The last time that I would get to see my daddy.

Because the very next day, my daddy passed away.

Now, as a parent, I try to cherish every moment I have with my children. That’s not always easy to do, especially on the days when I feel like we are in survival mode and are just trying to get through the day, but it is always in the back of my mind. And when I see my husband playing games with our daughter, just as I had once done with my daddy, I overflow with love. And I want to savor those moments forever.

Because they could be gone the very next day.

Shannon is a professional wife and mother to her husband, rambunctious two year-old girl, and three month-old baby boy.  When she's not busy baking or party planning, she loves to play bingo, visit garage sales, go to craft fairs, and hang out anywhere that your grandmother would probably frequent. She blogs at Lady's Makes and Bakes and you can find her on Twitter @ladymakesnbakes.

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1 comment:

  1. A memory of play night after night that has shaped the person you are. What a wonderful memory of your Dad. It could go either way, you know? I am looking to find these moments with my kids, different for each one because they are the only ones here just the way they are. This reminds me how every moment matters. Thank you.



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