Growing up…..

Last night….last night ended with a flashlight chase in the woods… playfully…. she roamed the hardwood…scanning the ground and trees… for the ‘possum that attempted to pass us…. it had no idea that my daughter would pursue..just for fun….  But moments prior… we were sitting near our modest fire…sipping coffee… in deep conversation.

It occurred to me last night… this was my little girl…growing up.. this was what her…my…. adult relationship… would look like.
We talked about school… politics….religion….her childhood… what she learned…and carried with her… Why ISIS?…. why refugees?…. how could anyone vote for Trump?…. We stared into a fire…talked of the hundreds of camping adventures and hiking…. and sipped coffee.

While she spoke, I realized how mature she had become… Even at 15, she put thought into life… her future… She shared with me her feelings about me… and I shared with her… mine… My deep…deep love for her.  It’s true…. we are of one soul…

Then… she spoke the words…. “So….Dad…. there’s this boy….”

It wasn’t painful…. it wasn’t shocking…. and my first reaction was not to get the shotgun out of the closet.  She is bright…. She told me the things a Father wants to hear…… The boy is smart… plays chess….rock climbs… He has written her an extremely long, apparently well-written, letter… one that she offered to share…. and, as difficult as it was…. I declined….

Tender…. memorable… sweet…. conversation…. then…. the ‘possum… I suppose, in the grand scheme of things… God, Himself, placed that critter in our yard… He knew at any moment… I would shed a tear…. or completely lose any ability to speak.

Seconds later…. streams of light pierced the scarcely leafed trees… and scanned the ground… laughter….giggles… For a moment, I saw the little girl I had raised…. scampering through the woods…. and I missed her already… I missed the previous hour… I tried to replay it…. carve it immediately into my very being, like a name on a stalwart Oak…. a place to return and run my hands across the letters…. the memory…..  I love this kid so much..so very…very…much.  Annabelle zink

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