Posted January 16, 2013 by jimhigley
From the fun and foibles files of this Bobblehead Dad, I’m proud to be part of the new Clorox Bleach It Away program—celebrating those messy moments in life that come with kids, pets, houseguests and more. Clorox calls them “Bleachable Moments.” I call them a reality of life. I’ve been sharing a few of mine over the last few months and hope you’ll do the same by heading over to www.bleachitaway.com for a chance to win $15,000! You’ll find more details at the end of my spin cycle story!
We called it the “Hi-Ho-Cherry-O” dress.
When my daughter was not quite a toddler, it was among her most favorite dresses. It was white with lime green piping. And topped with a scalloped collar dotted with embroidered cherries.
When my daughter wore it, she looked like a little cherry tart.
It was a look only an 18-month old could pull off. The only problem was that 18-month-olds become 20-month-olds. Then 22-month-olds. Like weeds they grow.
Meaning cute little Hi-Ho-Cherry-O dresses become nothing more than memories hanging in the closet. Too small to wear. But far too cute to toss.
So I’ve found myself saving the cutest of the cute dresses from my daughter’s lifespan in a big box that I keep tucked away in the basement. Should there ever be an exhibit at the Smithsonian covering the trendsetting style of my someday-famous daughter, the early years are covered.
And that includes the Hi-Ho-Cherry-O dress.
Well, I recently stumbled upon the box with the Hi-Ho-Cherry-O dress. That led me to a fifteen-minute detour down memory lane, which included vivid images of my tiny, little 16-month-old toddling around. Or better yet, being held in my arms.
But I also discovered that pretty, little white dresses packed away in boxes for several years discolor. And lose their cuteness.
So I tossed that Hi-Ho-Cherry-O dress in a basket of whites waiting to be Cloroxed and refreshed when I had enough clothes to make a load.
And with the Hi-Ho-Cherry-O dress, I had a load.
That night as I did that load of whites, I first set aside the Hi-Hi-Cherry-O dress—symbolically paying homage to it—as I sorted the other clothes. Undershirts, crew socks, the white, cotton napkins from a dinner party. But then I discovered something that my daughter—the one who wore the Hi-Ho-Cherry-O dress—must have placed in the bottom of the laundry basket.
It was her medical coat. Her nursing jacket. Her white coat. The one she proudly wears as a nursing student in her final year of college.
And as the gentle sound of warm water filled the washer tub, I paused. And thought about that Hi-Ho-Cherry-O dress, the little girl who used to wear it, and the white coat I was now holding.
Two ends of the spectrum of this child’s life thus far. One white representing her youthful beginning. Another white representing not only today. But her future.
A future, I’m beginning to realize, includes yet one more white dress. But hopefully not too soon.
Because the spin cycle of this dad’s life is twirling way too fast.