Monday, November 5, 2012

Selfish Kisses

Four blankets draped over her, a stuffed lion and baby doll under arm, she sleeps. I look at her and see the future: tomorrow morning picking out clothes for the day, next summer visiting grandparents, fifteen years from now dropping her off at college.

Today she ate cereal for breakfast. She watched a movie and did puzzles and then we went to the grocery store. Sitting in the back of the shopping cart, facing me, she sang and chattered her way down every aisle.

She played soccer in the afternoon. Well, she sat on the ball, dribbled it, kicked it into the goal more than once. She ate two helpings of spaghetti with butter. When the time came to wash up for bed, she would've preferred to continue playing her little ukulele, which she made clear to me by rolling around on the floor, crying hysterically. She cried so loud and so hard that any childless passersby would've thought me an abusive father, but all I'd done, I promise, was tell her it was time for pajamas and brushing teeth.

Now as she rests in her little bed and I think of all the days ahead, I wonder what the world will be like for her, what decisions she'll make. It's too much for me sometimes, the world all around us. But right now the night air is still and she and I are within the same walls. I know it's selfish of me to give her a tiny kiss on the cheek while she's asleep, but I do it anyway.

14 comments:

  1. Oh that was just lovely. It speaks of a father's love for his daughter and also that he knows with time he will have to let her go.

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    1. Thank you, Helen, so glad you liked this story.

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  2. Very nice to read while editing my own (pretty challenging) piece of fatherhood. Yours is concise and, as Helen nailed it, positively lovely. Thanks for sharing, Richard.

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    1. Thanks, John! Bunch of father to child relationship stories last week, must've been something in the air.

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  3. I can identify very much with this, such a fleeting and precious time at the heart of life.

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    1. Yes, I agree, Alison, a fleeting and precious time indeed. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment!

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  4. Must be something in the air this week as mine's also about fatherhood, although definitely the other pole to yours. In fact after the difficult emotions in mine, it was an utter relief to read this and get the more positive side! Thank you.

    marc nash

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    1. Yes, Marc! So funny, I just responded to John's comment with an echo of yours, so many stories of fatherhood last week! I'll be over to read yours shortly, looking forward to it, and glad mine provided some relief.

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  5. A lovely slice of parent/child life. We have two babies in the family just now, so I can definitely relate to this.

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    1. Hi, Steve, and thanks, it makes me happy that you could relate this one to your life as a father.

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