My little girl loves singing and music and I often use Apple Music to play different children’s playlists and albums. The other day I’d picked at random a children’s album and we were happily playing and singing along to the nursery rhymes and songs, when suddenly a blast from the past came on. It was a song called “A Little Bit of This” and I was transported back 28 years to my 4 year old self stood on stage at a local theatre in a pink top and skirt with matching hair ribbon and little leather ballet shoes feeling like a star!
This song was my first ever dancing performance, my stage debut! Little did my mum and dad know back then, that dancing would become an addiction, form of therapy, way of life and career path for me! Starting me off in classes due to my lack of co-ordination was probably not the best indicator of me becoming good at it and loving it so much. Anyway, I’ve always remembered very vividly my first ever dancing show but after eagerly texting a good friend and my mum, laughing that this song and another from the same show had cropped up on this playlist, I suddenly remembered other things, mainly my dad!
He’d loved watching me dance when I was little, I was certainly a daddy’s girl when young and hearing this song reminded me of it that. In fact hearing the song sparked off a series of memories of Dad that I’d forgotten. Firstly, I could hear him singing the chorus, “take a little bit of this and a little bit of that and mix it up with..” then he’d go really Yorkshire as he sang the last two words, “morning dew!” Then I remembered how he’d still know the lyrics and sing it if ever the 4 year old me up on that stage was mentioned. He never forgot them, sang them in the god awful, out tune, Indian mixed with Bradfordian accent (unfortunately I inherited my father’s lack of singing ability) and quite frankly used to annoy the hell out of me with it.
Remembering this, reminded me of journey’s home from my Saturday morning classes, he’d give me pop and crisps (quavers to be exact) as I finished but then proceeded to repeatedly reach his hand round from the driver’s seat, cupped for me to share my snack with him. I can still feel the annoyance, frustration and eye roll I used to have at having to share my favourite snack!
I also remembered him thinking he was funny trying (badly) to copy my tap dance sequences as I practiced in the living room on a piece of plywood or MDF he’d dragged in for me from the garage. In fact I remember this silly and annoy sense of humour he had, one where he barely got through his jokey comment or daft act because of how hard he was laughing at himself-good job really because we all rarely did find him that funny!!
I also remember him hating me taking far too long to get changed after class because he’d want to get home to watch football or complain about my mum watching soaps. He used to rush that much when nipping out the house to run such errands like picking me up or walking the dog that he’d flatten the back of his shoes after not putting them on properly, most pairs were moulded that way he’d done it that much!
There’s more I remembered, lots more, more and more of his strange quirks and bad habits. Things I’d almost forgotten because when he was still with us, he still did them or something similar, they were all part of the norm. But now I won’t hear him mention or sing “a little bit of this” I won’t kick a pair of his flattened shoes that look like strange deformed backless mules nor will I hear him laughing at his own poor joke.
However, I seem to be remembering even more than I could when he was still with us. Small things like a song, a photo, a smell, an advert or a saying trigger a memory and then it just snowballs and my mind seems to unlock more and more that had drifted to the back of my mind. It’s strange because when he first died, I was frightened that I’d forget things like what his voice sounded like but actually remembering is easier than I imagined. I seem to be remembering even more than I ever could before he died.
I do wonder if all my memories are accurate, most seem to be from discussions I’ve had with family with maybe only the odd minor detail getting mixed up as different events and occasions blend into one. Generally though my memory seems to serve me right and this week has left me wondering what my next reminder of Dad will be and what other memories will it trigger?