Monday, June 14, 2010

Foot Pajamas


Seventeen years ago, during a trip to Ohio to visit my ailing father, my then two year old niece Kelly and I were keeping Dad company together. He lived with Kelly's family and she was a real treat to be around.

It was winter and Kelly was wearing a pair of yellow Carter's Pajamas, the warm kind that zipped from angle to neck and had footed slippers attached to them-- the slippers with the non-skid bottoms. She was playing in the living room while I visited with Dad in his bedroom.

Every few minutes Dad would call out, "Kelllll--eeeey", in a sing-song voice that adults often use when talking to a toddler. "Kellll-eeeey". She would tip-toe up the hallway to his room, her little feet shuffling on the wood floor, trying to sneak up on us and play peek-a-boo.

When she'd peek her head around the corner to see us, Dad would coax--"Say Grandpa. Kelly, say Grandpa", words she had yet to speak. Kelly would giggle, run into the room, throw herself onto his bed, climb up until she was nose to nose with Dad then laugh and laugh, but never said a word. Then she'd wiggle herself off the bed and run back into the living room.

This game between them went on for at least a full hour-- "Kell-eey, Kell-eey", tip-toe, peek, "Say Grandpa", giggle, throw herself on the bed, laugh then run away, over and over again.

Finally, after about the hundredth time, little Kelly threw herself on the bed, climbed up and sit on Dad's belly then said, clear as a bell-- Aunt Joanna! We all looked at each other in disbelief, as she had never said my name before either. Then Kelly tossed her head back and laugh until we all nearly cried before wiggling herself off the bed to run back down the hall again.

After a long silly minute, Dad looked at me and said "Well, I'll be damned!" Moments later, the game started all over again but other than loads of giggles and laughter, Kelly never said another word the rest of the day.

Since that winter afternoon years ago, Kelly's had lots to say and has grown up to become a lovely young woman. This summer she will prepare to attend college in the fall, and even though the winters at school will be cold, she won't be packing a pair of footed pajamas... Or maybe she will.

It could be because Father's Day is around the corner, but this favorite memory has played over and over in my mind lately, partly because Kelly is old enough to go to college and partly because I miss my dad.

I hope you have happy family memories too.
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © MeridianSage - Fotolia.com

58 comments:

  1. I love sweet memories like that.
    Helps when you're missing the ones you love.

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  2. What a lovely memory. I could hear those sleeper slippers shuffling along.. and those giggles. Nicely told, Joanna. Bittersweet.

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  3. Beautiful story Joanna. Time flies, memories linger.

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  4. Footies!!! I remember them well! Scuff, scuff, scuff. And wise is the child that gives herself plenty of time to unzip when nature calls!

    Oh Joanna, what a heartwarming and vividly descriptive story. I'm so happy that you have such pleasant memories to reminisce over. I know you must miss your dad terribly, too.

    My thoughts are with you friend - as you remember your father and the sweet hi-jinx of your now grown up niece.

    Thanks for the smile!

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  5. That is a beautiful story, Joanna. I felt like I was right there with you. Of course that would make about 3 or 4 of us piled in the bed together, but still.

    :)

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  6. So precious! And is Kelly enjoying being an aunt?

    Kids have their own sense of humor. She probably could've recited the Star Spangled Banner but all along decided to burst out with Aunt Joanna.

    What a wonderful memory!

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  7. This was beautiful! This does help me with some great Father's Day memories.

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  8. Joanna, I love this story, what a wonderful memory. I can just see the look on your faces when she said that. I understand you missing your Dad....it always seems sad on Fathers Day. may our memories give us some comfort Joanna, and a big hug from your friend in Canada. hugs.
    thank you for your kind comment on my blog.

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  9. That is such a heart warming story, Joanna. I could visualize the whole thing so easily. Also, I've seen those footed pajamas in teen sizes - they were really cute. I thought they would be great for winter ski parties up at Lake Tahoe!

    Did you ever email me you address so I can send you an autographed label for my poetry book?

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  10. Joanna....love that story what a wonderful memory...your Dad is certainly smiling down upon you and Kellyyyyy...how special. ((Hugs))

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  11. Oh, what a lovely recollection! I so understand that you miss your dad... Do yo think Kelly remembers this too? For some reason this made me miss my nieces and nephew, who I have seen only a few times throughout their life. They live far away from me and I missing out on so much...
    Wonderful post full of life's simple pleasures.
    xoxo

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  12. Aren't family stories like that just so cool? That was really lovely. x

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  13. Beautiful story!. and yes, it could be that Father's Day is close- and I also think its because of KELLY! lol...

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  14. What a lovely memory. I remember those footed pj's. I used to put my son into them. Loved them!!
    How precious and a wonderful surprise when she called out your name and not Grandpa!! Ha! Kids!!
    Thanks for sharing this! I miss my dad too!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  15. that is a beautiful moment jj...sounds like she is gown up quite a bit since then. sorry you miss your dad. T is down visiting her dad...anniversary of her moms passing...

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  16. Wow, I'm very VERY choked up and I haven't even gotten out the door this morning for work. What a lovely LOVELY post! Such wonderful memories!

    Katherine
    shoot-me-now.com

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  17. I can actually hear those shuffling little feet in those pj´s. Our kids had them too and they bring back special memories. Your niece showed at a young age, how smart she is. I hope she will enjoy college!

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  18. That's one of those great memories you can pop in whenever you need a pick me up!

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  19. ((((joanna)))) just because... xoxox

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  20. There's nothing like the giggling laughter of a small child. What a fun game for Kelly and your dad and how funny the way she said your name like that.

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  21. That is priceless. Nobody's going to tell HER what to say!

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  22. That is a nice memory. I miss mine too.

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  23. My kids wore those pajamas when we lived in Virginia. I think they were called Doctor Dentons. I did know adults who wore them too. Not sayin' who.

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  24. That is a totally sweet memory! How fast they grow up, huh?

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  25. Memories are truly forever aren't they?

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  26. lovely memories for Father's Day, Joanna.

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  27. This is so great on so many levels, not the least of which is she said your name first. Yay. :) What fun they are. What wonder and joy they hold.

    Casey

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  28. what a lovely memory to hold onto!

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  29. Oh, I had forgotten all about those footed PJ's my kids once wore - you've just brought a huge smile to my face!

    What a darling snippet of a precious memory, and told so well I could virtually hear the laughter of it. Your father was obviously much-loved (hugs).

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  30. Don't you love a memory as bright and shiny as that one came back? You wrote it so sweetly, too.

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  31. What a sweet memory, Joanna. I loved those pajamas on my kids. And they wore them into their teens:)

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  32. Thanks for your story of such nice memories. It triggers similar ones for the readers.
    Right now I'm remembering my dad playing with my two girls.
    all the best

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  33. Awwww! My kids love their footies. My daughter has crunched up feet and wholes in her toes but she still keeps wearing them!

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  34. Instead of Carter's sleepers, our area was famous for Dr Denton footed sleepers. The factory was actually in our little town of Colon with another factory in Centreville. I think all kids in the tri-state area started out with Dr Dentons!

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  35. Just confirmed plans for my girls and my sisters son to spend a week at my Mom and Dads!! My kids are still talking about last summers weeks visit! Family memories.....

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  36. What a wonderful memory! I hope this Father's Day brings you more of them!

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  37. Nostalgic Post...
    Have a Great Time ahead!!

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  38. Those are all very good reasons for such a thoughtful post. Love that picure of the peek-a-boo.

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  39. Very sweet story. Those kiddos grow up on us don't they.
    ♥ Joy

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  40. what a beautiful story. and such a beautiful memory to carry to college. : )

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  41. He's there whispering to you and Kelly....echoes across time and space...my love to you sweetie...

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  42. I really like the way you have told that glorious memory.
    What a beautiful Dad you must have had to play that game with his granddaughter for such a long time.

    I'm an Aunty too and a Great Aunt as well. I like it and it sounds like you do too.

    Thank you for sharing happy memories... unfortunately for me mine are far and few between.

    best wishes for making happy memories
    Robyn :)

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  43. I love post that speak of family memories, this reminded me of my children when they were babies, both wore sleepers with feet in them. I can almost here your niece giggle and yes I miss my dad too, it is that time of year....:-)Hugs

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  44. What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

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  45. What a great memory!

    I love those pjs with feet! (Wish they would do them in adult sizes too...)

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  46. It's a lovely memory to have, and thank you for sharing it. I'm sure Kelly isn't quite so fond of it, but then she's at the time of her life when being older sounds great, not looking back at being younger.

    Do you remember that time of life? I do, but only vaguely, conceptually. I don't recall the actual feeling, I just know it was. Some time in college was when it ended, I think. Hehe, probably attendant to turning twenty-one, no doubt.

    Anyway, the reason I bring that up is that it occurred to me that you would remember that feeling, the only Kelly likely has. The one you likely did, and I know I did and it made me think: Your dad experienced that too. Maybe at the same time someone was recalling one of their favorite memories, featuring your dad as a toddler.

    Just one of those little ways in which we're all connected, I suppose.

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  47. Joanna , you share the best stories.
    Your heart is an inspiration to mine.

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  48. What a lovely memory to have!

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  49. ~~~love~~~ Joanna!!

    Thank you for sharing this sweet memory!

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  50. That's a great memory ...
    My two are now grown up and I often think mostly about when they were little.

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  51. Awwwww.

    That story brought tears to my eyes...I still miss my dad too.:)

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  52. Hello stranger, that post made me tear up as well. Beautifully written as always. Now I have my life sorted in the way it should be I can turn my mind back to blogging after being away (with a few posts in between) for the better part of nine months I think. I have loads of your blog to catch up on.

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  53. what a beautiful memory. i feel like i was right there with you...
    i miss seeing my kids in "footy" pjs...
    hugs dear joanna!

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  54. Precious! Thanks again for sharing.
    I love your voice.
    tsue1136 at yahoo dot com

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