The Daddy Diaries: About Time

I think of things like little feetie-pajamas.
I think of things like what little kids say
when they’re still young enough to believe in wonderful things,
like the power of a special blanket
or a stuffed animal.
I think about the way a little girl laughs at silly jokes by her Dad,

like, say, “Hey Punky, do you think fish ever get thirsty?”
And then I think of a little girl’s laugh

as she responded, “Silly daddy!”

My God, this was so pure . . .

I think of the bedtime storybooks.
I remember them.
I remember Silly Sally. She was my favorite.
Silly Sally went to town,

walking backwards,
upside down.

These things are extraordinary things in life.
This is our treasure.
These are the most valuable things we own.
These are the memories that come in tiny,
brief little windows of time.
But don’t blink. Don’t look away.
Don’t do it because little girls grow up to be big girls.
Next, they lose faith in the tooth fairy.

They forget about Santa.
They forget how to play pretend or have little tea parties.

There was a time when a little girl
fit between my wrist and the inside of my elbow.
There was a time when her vocabulary was different.
Meatballs was pronounced neat-balls.
Supermarket was pronounced soo-ker-market
and the word with was pronounced, “Wiff,”
as in “Daddy,
will you lay wiff me?

Everyone tells you to honor every minute.
Everyone tells you, time flies,
so appreciate what you have
(While you have it).

I think about phone calls that I once took for granted.
I think about Mom.
I think about the times my phone rang,
but yet I was too busy,
but yet, Mom still needed me,
but yet, my mind was in a million different directions.
I think about the times when I let the call

go to voicemail.
I think of the time I wasted arguing;
meanwhile, I should have been showing my love.

I think of the time that has passed between now and then
and how people drift apart.
I think of the irreconcilable differences
and the need to be away from certain people,
places and things.

There are times when people sever or split
or head off on their own separate ways.
In some cases, never the twain shall meet.
In some cases, this is necessary.
In some case, however, I describe this as loss
and in some cases, some losses can be irretrievable . . .
if we let them go too far.

Back when The Old Man passed,
I was fortunate to be able to say the things I needed to say
and hear from him the things I needed to hear.
I wasn’t so lucky when Mom died.
There are others I have lost or split away from.
In some cases, much of my thoughts will remain unspoken
and some of my heart will remain
unsaid. .

I regret some of this.
Others, I believe our separation
was best for both worlds.

Life does not always make sense.
Neither do people.
But we move on. We keep going.
And if we’re lucky,
we learn before it’s too late
that love is the greatest gift we own,
what a waste it would be
to let it all go to shit . . .

I remember a moment when I decided to create a boundary.
I had to . . .
I decided to match intensity.
I decided to meet respect with equal respect.
I match love with love.
As for hate, well, I don’t waste time matching hate.
Hate is too wasteful.

I’m too old to waste my time with hate.
Time is too precious.
Little girls are only little for so long,
You and me and the time we get is only a temporary loan.
Time is a loan.
This means time has value.
Might as well make it all worth it.

PS: I was thinking about a little girl . . .
I was thinking about the songs I used to sing
so she could fall asleep.
God, what I wouldn’t give to relive that moment again,

exactly as it was
without changing a thing.

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