“I turn my back to the wind
To catch my breath
Before I start off again.
Driven on without a moment to spend
To pass an evening with a drink and a friend”
The dark haired beauty is angry with me and that is putting it lightly. I am the object of her fury because she blames me for moving and she knows that it is safe to scream at me. For a brief time I let her unload upon me and then I ask her if she is done.
She puts her hands on her hips and gives me a look that one day will melt boyfriends and husbands. That sort of look doesn’t work on me. I am her father and I don’t break, bend or waver. I am the force that keeps the darkness at bay and the hero that comes at dawn.
But I am also human and just a man. I don’t have all the answers and sometimes heroes fail
“Daddy, I hate when you say that to me.” I don’t tell her that I have said it to all of her aunts, grandmothers, mother and most of the girlfriends of the past. She wouldn’t appreciate it and I am sure that none of those other women would like knowing that either. But I say it anyway. There is a purpose but in her case it is not to incite, instigate or cause trouble.
I sit down on a chair and pull her over to me. She puts up some resistance but lets me pull her into my embrace. Her face is turned away from mine but her head is against my chest.
“You won’t always like or understand what happens. I only ask that you trust that we are doing the best we can” Her little body is still tense and I rub her back gently. “You know that I love you and that I will always do my best to take care of you.”
This little girl of mine doesn’t realize that I recognize large pieces of me in her. She is very much her own person but I see myself here. I hear me talking and I feel her anger. It is painful and she doesn’t know how sorry I am about that.
But I am not seven and life experience has provided lessons that she has yet to learn. I know that sometimes the only way to make things better is to walk through the flames. What she doesn’t know is that I doing my best to hold her and her brother above my head so that they don’t get burned- but that doesn’t prevent them from feeling some of the heat.
She doesn’t know that sometimes I silently recite the list of things I have done to remind me that there are far more good things than bad. She doesn’t know of the price I have paid to do some of these things. I would do it all again for her and her brother. I am not upset about that. Hindsight is 20-20 and without the gift of prescience I can’t say that I would have done too many things differently.
But time will provide proof of the changes and the anger that she feels now will dissipate. I will do what I must to get us all through it because that is what fathers do but I would be lying if I said that sometimes it is hard for me because dad doesn’t always have all the answers.
“Summer’s going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away…
The innocence slips away”