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She brought them with her, the stuffed animals that keep her company, and she climbed in my lap. She rested her head on my chest and she timed her inhales with my own. We sat there just the two of us having an entire conversation without saying a word and we laughed and cried without moving our faces. These are the moments I live for, the moments when simply being together is all that matters.

One day, I won’t be the hero she makes me out to be. I won’t be the strongest man in the world or make the finest pot of pretend tea. I won’t be her favorite person or the best dance partner or able to fix whatever she finds broken. One day, I won’t be on the receiving end of her numerous proposals or the prince to her princess, the Kristoff to her Anna, the Eric to her Ariel, the Charming to her Cinderella… but I’ll always be her father.

Several nights ago she woke up crying, I ran into her room and hugged her and begged to know what was wrong. “You left me and never came back,” she said between sobs. Ever since that nightmare she’s requested extra cuddles and my heart swells and breaks with every beat. All the advice and books yet nothing prepares you for the real world of fatherhood, of parenting, when they just want to be held and when you refuse to let go.

Most days, I have to admit I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to parenting. I wrap my arms around her at every opportunity, I try to answer every question she throws my way, and I inherit her interests as my own. There isn’t a manual despite those who think they’ve written one. There are, however, plenty of conversations both silent and spoken with stuffed animals present for most and there’s love… there’s a whole lot of that. I suppose in the end, that’s all that matters.

2 comments

  1. Sometimes words don't need to be spoken. You're doing a great job if she finds comfort in you, in the silence.

    ReplyDelete

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