How did you DO that?
I grew up an only child. I had friends, but sometimes they weren’t around. I had both parents and we went places and played often. But I enjoyed listening to my radio and coloring in my Spiderman coloring book in my room as much as I enjoyed playing with my friends or parents. I learned early on how to enjoy myself when I was alone. Not that way you sick monkey...well, at least, not yet.
It also meant that when someone left, it wasn’t a huge loss. A friend would move away, I would miss them, but it wasn’t devastating. An uncle would die, I would be sad, but it didn’t bring the world to a screeching halt.
As I grew into adulthood I began to treasure my time alone. Again, I had friends and we would go out and drink, hit on women way out of our league, and laugh about it later, but I enjoyed reading in my apartment listening to music alone as much as I enjoyed going out.
Girlfriends came and went until I met your mother. She had the most beautiful legs I’d ever seen. We met at work and dated secretly for six months before we didn’t feel like hiding it anymore.
We got married four years later. Then you came along a couple of years after that. There has never been anybody in my life that I couldn’t live without. I don’t think it’s a psychological issue (but crazy people really don’t know their crazy, do they?) Even if my beautiful wife left or died, I’d be despondent for some time, but life would go on. I never needed anyone before…until you.
You were so noisy and bothersome that for the first 6 months of your life I begged my wife to let me sell you on the black market. You were cute and had all your fingers and toes so you would have fetched a hefty sum; enough to put a nice down payment on a new house. But your mother just looked at me with daggers shooting from her eyes and I would slink out of the room. Damn her.
Then one day…it was close to my birthday, I was holding you and I made a funny face and you laughed. It was all downhill from there. I began to love you. And it only got worse as time went on. No one in my life has ever gotten in as far as you have.
My favorite time is bed time when we’ve finished reading “Where the Wild Things Are,” and “Guess How Much I Love You” and I turn out the light and get the covers snuggled up under your chin. I kiss you on the tip of your nose and tell you, “I love you, big girl.” And you say, “I love you too, daddy.”
I get choked up every time I hear that. I’m glad the lights are out.
How I wish to God I could keep you this age, but I know that you’ll eventually become a teenager, and may very well break my heart. That’s okay; it’s yours to break.
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