While She Sleeps…

Man O man, I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. I may be the only one that says it out loud. Somehow, God has fixed it that I trust Him enough to just let it out and not risk someone beating me up about it. HE specializes in fixing what some may try to shatter my feelings with anyway.

It’s the moment of reflection. The morning after or the “just before I go to bed” reflection. The last thought on my mind or the “what the hell happened last night?” Stare in my coffee cup. We all have these reflections right? Just to be fair, I am just as interested in reading and hearing yours, as I am in getting out of my heart and head.

It’s 7:07am here. It’s dark in the room other than the small light peaking through the blinds. It’s just enough light to see silhouettes and a vague memory of where things are. I bet I know where those chips are. I can find snacks without light. It’s dark, the bed slept sweet and I can hear the heater blowing. You know the wall unit that half of it sticks outside the window? This is a past flea bag turned Hilton-ish!! The Stones partied here in the seventies, the smell is a light hint of “Wait a minute!!” and I bet if these lamps could talk….(why must I go on tangents?)

I remember why I’m here. I woke up in AZ.

A break from work and my normal routine. It’s good to break things up a bit. Discipline is great but the same routine can kill you. This trip is always spiritual and reflective for me. I’m here to see Skye. I remember when I had to leave her.

When I moved from Indiana, she couldn’t go with me and that was probably the hardest thing to deal with. Looking into the eyes of a child and making a promise that you hope you can keep. That was tough. No real parent is interested in making empty promises or just shoving lies down a kids throat and demanding that they not question it but accept it. I took the time to say it and I’m not sure if there is an exact amount of time ample enough to answer every question and give peace to their fearful heart. We talked or at least I did. What can she say? She says, “Ok Dad.”

I’m leaving to make a better future for us!! The struggle WITH someone sometimes is preferred above and beyond the future pleasure promised sometimes? In other words, she probably would rather me stay. I make the promise that we will always have a bond that no one could ever break. For sure, distance wouldn’t. Her Brother is gone and now Dad, is probably a bit much for the average kid.

I never forget the day we saw each other for the first time in several months. I was now in Cali and she was here. It was a Hallmark moment. She got her daddy back and I made good on my promise. We hugged for what seemed like hours. I could feel her uneasiness and fear leave her body. We talked and she went to sleep. I know why. You can actually be asleep but your heart be looking out the window for your loved one to show up. As soon as we got into our room, I needed to sleep now because My heart would refuse to sleep until I fulfilled the promise that I made. I was willing to die making it come to pass.

Since then, we’ve made several trips back and forth. We’ve both become accustomed but not totally overjoyed with the setup. We’ve learned how to squeeze all the juice out of the situation. We have our routine places that are mandatory for us to visit. Barnes and Noble, Chang’s, and the little Bundt cake place. We take pics when she feels up to it. As a little girl she lived with her face in the camera. The game has changed.

The Teen pretty thing is here. The “help the old dad” thing is here. All of the teen stuff. The “When do the boys come in” stuff. I lost Rochelle to one and I didn’t get any solid walk aways from that. It feels like betrayal from a Dad’s perspective. That’s why we go to the closet and pull out the hardware. Somebody will live and someone won’t. Her cutoff game is intact and not selfish.

She’s resting peacefully and I love it. She’s been on the phone late into the night. She’s been researching how to be a sweeter daughter, working out math problems and ways to bring World peace. I have to lie to myself so I won’t feel tempted to go look. Mothers look, Dads go to the shooting range. It’s hard to be hypocritical. Truth be told, I know what my cookies look like prior to the delete button. I just hope discipline overcomes her. I’ve never been great at spelling, one misspelled world and you can find yourself in some stuff so deep the counselor can’t deliver you out of, I heard.

I hope she sleeps late and catches up on her rest. A father’s presence is Golden. They seem to learn more non verbally than a whole bunch of talking. Daddy used to say, “Unconditional Love is what you get from kids and it’s what they need to be able to identify!!” I get it. Love that has no strings attached. She is getting ready to run into a lot of no good bastards who recklessly use the word LOVE. She needs to be able to sift through the Bull. People will show up and say they have your best interest in mind. She needs to be able to authenticate. What her intellect can’t detect, her street sense can’t red flag, her internal compass has to be able to identify.

There was a counterfeit expert in the bank. They asked him, “How can you identify the fake so easy?” He replied, “I study the real thing!! I am here to give this girl the real thing. I do not have enough money to buy her the world and I wouldn’t if I was balling like that. I’m trying to give her what money can’t buy, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!! Oh yeah, and a few losses in shooting pool and bowling. She has to know how to take an “L.” I’m a good teacher. If she beats me, I’ll quit.

I am so proud of my girls. Love has allowed me to inherit another daughter and I am overjoyed to see how it plays out. I know my place. I say to myself, “Dad, just be there.” One day she will ask me a question and I want to be prepared. I don’t want to say, “Ask your Momma!!”

At a certain age, I recognized that she was not in my world, I was in hers, unless I get booted out for being too opinionated. Did you hear what I said? I RECOGNIZE, I am in her world. I’m just paying for the props and fun. I am in her world and able to enjoy citizenship as long as I keep her rules. I stop telling her things. I just ask questions now!! They don’t hear you anyway. They nod and acknowledge you but they don’t hear you. Thank you for listening. Keep me lifted as I attempt to deposit all the love I have into this child within a few short days. I gather that my wallet and my heart will both be empty but I am blessed all the more.

I love you


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