Slow, slow, quick quick, slow, slow, quick quick, Papa said softly to me as he guided me around the dance floor. I looked down at our feet, trying to pretend that there was not another living soul in the room. I couldn't look Papa in the eye, I was mortified, no boy would ever ask me to dance after watching me dance with my Father!
It was the era of rock music, just before disco made it's appearance. I don't remember what song was playing but I was well aware that it was NOT music that most people would interpret by dancing the Fox Trot.
I was fifteen, with braces and acne. The phrase "With a face that only a Mother could love," certainly applied in this case. Only it seemed that it was my Father that loved my face, and he simply could not bear to see me sitting on the sidelines of yet another church youth dance.
Papa breathed heavily as we danced. It didn't occur to me until many years later how tired he was, having worked for nine hours, worked in his enormous garden for an hour, and then doing volunteer church work for another four hours after that.
He had known that there was a youth dance, and that I would be attending. I believe he also knew that I would be sitting on the sidelines, horribly shy, and definitely a later than late bloomer. So, exhausted as he was, he danced with me.
Some forty years later I don't remember many boys my age. I DO remember my beloved Papa, dancing the Fox Trot with me, and even attempting to move to Rock Music when I tired of Fox Trotting. I remember that he loved me that much. HE THOUGHT I WAS BEAUTIFUL!
Papa passed away twenty-one years ago. What I would give to once again Fox Trot with him. This time I would look him straight in the eyes, and I would be the proudest to dance with my Father. After all ANYONE can dance to Rock music, but not just anyone can Fox Trot, Fox Trot with my beloved Papa!