Last weekend, we’re at one of those pottery painting shops. We’re almost done, and I’ve got Kaylee picked up so we can look at some of the painted pieces up on the higher shelves.
She points at a big coffee mug and says “That says ‘Dad’.”
“The bottom part does,” I agree. “The last word.”
I wander off. She looks back at it. “What’s the rest say?”
I go back so we can sound out “World’s Best Dad.”
She gasps and her eyes go wide. “They painted that for you!”
She’s like to break my heart, sometimes.
Later today, me and my wife and my daughter and her mom will all go out to brunch together. Partly because it’s become this thing that we usually do; maybe because it’s a little different and a little different is – in this case – a pretty good thing.
Then me and my two best girls will pick up the pottery we painted last week, go to the park, and maybe even see a movie (if I can talk Kaylee into it) or go for a bike ride (if I can’t).
Kaylee and I will have some cold, leftover pizza for supper, because we like it that way. She’ll make up songs for half an hour while she plays in the tub before bedtime. Kate will read her some more of Cricket in Time Square, then it’s kisses goodnight and do-you-want-your-music-on and lights out.
She’ll find me in the office in the morning and stand and watch until I finish the line, then crawl in my lap while we discuss how she slept, and what’s on the docket for the coming day, and what’s in the story I’m writing.
Then clothes and breakfast and off to school; hugs and kisses at the classroom door. Every day, the person who asks for just-one-more is different, or maybe we take turns.
On the way out the door I’ll be smiling because I know I’m picking her up that afternoon.
That’s my life, pretty much. A big part of it.
Long time coming. No other now I’d rather be.