Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Daddy moment

A few weeks ago we had a delightful country Saturday with pancakes for breakfast, a morning at the beach on the lake and Dear Alex and daddy in the cold, cold water. After an hour or so, after your limbs go numb you don't really notice the cold anymore - but you really begin to appreciate the energy of the kid that's become your sole focus as she willingly runs into the water and submerges with no regard and full confidence that you'll be there to pull her up and out, cold and proud to have been underwater and ready to do it again (and again) - A few hours later the weather changed, with low grey clouds and the rumble of thunder from the west. The light changed from gold to silver to flat and dark in the course of a few minutes, and we hastily packed up the canoe and motored across the lake to home. With rain on the way and some shopping missions to perform (mostly acquiring clothing and stuff for the girl - I forget what it was specifically, but then again, she almost always needs something) Beautiful Wife and I took Dear Alex to one of the nearby -marts. We found the right-sized perfect pairs of shoes (aha - sandals, more shoes! that's what we were looking for) and headed home. Right on cue, after a few rounds of "Yellow Submarine" (her fondness for the works of The Beatles will be the subject of another post, for sure) in the car, Dear Alex fell asleep in her carseat as we drove home in the rain. We've been here before - time to get out of the car, but the kid's asleep taking the very rare afternoon nap, which she richly deserved. What to do? Let her sleep. Beautiful Wife went into the house to do some emergency cleaning. (we haven't vacuumed for months, and it was beginning to look a little like the outside inside, with all of the dirt, leaves and twigs on the floor) I stayed outside with her, lest she wake up and freak out that there was no-one there. It was still raining, but I took the oportunity to do a little leaf-raking and yard cleaning (all within sight of Dear Alex sleeping in the carseat) After a while, I got tired of the required watchfulness and the futility of actually trying to accomplish anything while keeping one eye on the kid in the car, and tired of being rained on, so I decided to simply open the back hatch of Dear Alex's station wagon and climb in. So, picture the grey-green Pennsylvania light, and a little silver station wagon in the rain next to a little red house in the woods, with a sleeping child in the carseat and a tall-ish man twisted to fit in the little cargo space with my feet against the windows as the rain came down. Beautiful. If you haven't had the opportunity to watch your child sleep deeply, peacefully, confidently, it's a wonderful thing. From where I had twisted myself, I had a perfect profile and could watch her face change and think about what she must be dreaming. There was something about the perfect closeness, and stillness of Dear Alex against the confines of the car and the rattle of the rain outside that made this moment worth remembering.

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