Moments. Hold them.

baby-and-dad-sleeping-590x410

Zeke’s paws are scratching. He’s dreaming.  His body twitching.  I steal a glance at the clock.  1:15 am.  I smile. You go from refusing a dog for 20 years, to the animal taking center stage on your bed. Every night.  What a tough guy.

He knows.  Dogs have a second sense.  Even when he’s sleeping, he hears.

Car door shuts.  It’s Rachel.  Rolling in from her evening out.

I lumber down to her room.  Bathroom door is closed.  Water is running.  I lie down on her bed.  Stare at the ceiling.  And wait.

Mind whirs back to a moment during the week.  I’m driving into Manhattan.  Rush hour.  Traffic stalled.  GPS flashes a 3-mile backup to the Triboro bridge.  Beach Avenue and Bruckner.  Young girl is holding her Dad’s hand.  They are crossing the walkway over I-278.  Her passion pink backpack sharply contrasting with the streaks of graffiti.  The pair offering up a burst of illumination against the grey of the housing projects and the trash lining the freeway.  Their hands and arms sway in unison.  Dad smiling.    She’s skipping to keep up.

That day, Mind was crocheting stitches of a majestic tapestry. One of family.  Of warm spring days.  Of light breezes.  All storm clouds pushed way south.  And the Moment hovered.  All week.

Why this moment?  This was not an impressionist by Monet.  Not a intricate passage by Joyce or a dreamy segue by Murakami. No deep existential words here by Kierkegaard.  Not  a big win at Work.  A Father. A daughter.  A pink backpack.  Walking over a dilapidated bridge in the Projects.

“What are you doing up Dad.”

“Heard you come in Honey.”

She wearily slumps into bed. Bundles herself up in her comforter.  Fluffs her pillow to get it just right.

Her breathing settles in to a slow rhythm. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. Noisily at first. Then reduces to a soft whisper.

I lean over to kiss her on the forehead.  The smell of her hair triggers a memory.  Baby smell.  She used to fall asleep on my chest.  Her little puffs of breath warming me.  Her heart beating on mine.

I glance at her clock.

1:49 am.

Please.  Let time stop now.

Freeze.

Right Here.

This moment.


Image Source: Thank you akamommagazine.com

Comments

  1. The smell of a baby’s head..the magic of a daddy still waiting to hear the gentle breathing of his child sleeping, how one father’s love can trigger the memories of another. You had me welling up this morning David.

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  2. The magic of your writing for me is how you take these random moments and stitch them together to form your tapestry. Lovely.

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  3. Yes, daddy magic.

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  4. Lump in the throat here too, David. Beautiful….

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  5. Oh man, again…tears. There is nothing so powerful, so magical, so life changing as the love we have for our children. One of the things I admire the most about you David is that you do capture moments all the time, you see all the meaning and the worth and the strength of singular moments…and you are able to share those moments with all of us through your amazing writing. Thanks for making my heart feel this thing that it feels so much of the time when I read your words.

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  6. Well written, David. I was right there with you imagining the scenarios.

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  7. Beautiful David! I love when you write from your heart…

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  8. David, I have nominated you for the award, WordPress Family Award at http://drbillwooten.com/2013/05/19/nomination-for-award-lead-learn-live/ Well deserved my friend. Bill

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  9. You are a truly gifted writer, David. Thank you for sharing this moment with us. It brought back memories of such moment with my daughter.
    Russ

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  10. touched. beautiful, david.

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  11. Oh David – this is such good writing – such a powerful piece! And I think you’ll make the world cry with those words – do you realise how many tissues I’ve used reading this! 😥 I’m not a mother, but this reached me so much because I could see my little self with my own daddy, and I think if my dad was alive to read this today, he would absolutely love it! 🙂 The older my dad got the more he used to comment about little girls and the way they skip with happiness – made him smile so much, and of course he was reminiscing of days when I did just that!

    And I can remember my dad waiting up for me too – it must be impossible to ever completely let go. And you are so right – if only time could freeze where we want it too! Thank you for the tears David – it was a precious moment! 🙂

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  12. ophelia says:

    Yes!

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  13. Wow. David, I have said it before and I will say it again, your daughter is quite lucky to have a father like you. Amazing, and so powerful, the way you captured the essence of the moment. All little skipping ladies should be so blessed!

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  14. Wonderful writing, David. A father’s never failing love is so precious.

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  15. It’s those beautiful moments that make up a beautiful life.

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