Another evening, another great night.
Tuesday night, my daughter is safely in bed, stuffed puppy curled in an arm, one pillow under her head, one to the side, a pink elephant by her side. She’s six years old now, she’s with me quite a bit, and I couldn’t be happier. Actually, that’s a lie; I could be happier, probably, but… right now, how?
Funny. It doesn’t seem like it was long ago that I worried about when she would start reading, when she’d show interest in things besides eating, hiding behind a pant leg, and watching cartoons. Now she’s concerned about overeating, taking ballet and making new friends, and watching Disney “tween” shows. Now I worry about things like her spelling, if she has enough kid friends in the summer, and where we’ll go on vacations that would have some practical value.
A few months ago, someone told me that these I’m reaching the point of my life, as a parent, where time will move impossibly fast, and that it would seem as though one day I’d wake up and years would have gone by in my daughter’s life, and I need to pay special attention to what I do, what we do, and now I have no doubt. My daughter remembers everything now. Working days slip by, and I barely know where they went… but go they did. Culture has changed; Britney Spears became Lady Gaga, Harry Potter begat Twilight. So I stepped up, too. Insurance has been bought, college funds are growing, major project established, plans have been made.
Yet, still, I walk by my daughter’s room, as often when she’s here as when she’s not, wondering if I’m succeeding. Wondering if she really minds the dresser that could use a fresh coat of paint. Wondering if she really liked what I had to throw together for dinner at the last minute. Wondering if she’s always like those Dora brand yogurt that can be so hard to find. Wondering if she really still appreciates the fact that I still make sure that every night before she goes to bed, the last words that she hears from me are, “I love you, Gracie.” And wondering if she still does appreciate it now, will she always?
My every night is filled with questions with no answers. None yet, anyway.
Only time will tell the tale.
It’s an amazing journey, this one of being a single parent, and it’s one that I’m still learning as I go. I suspect that I still have so much to learn.
But I’m not just watching the wheels turn.
Maybe what I’m attempting to say today is that perhaps none of us should.