Monday, January 25, 2010

Here we go.

Saturday, Lily and I went to her favorite restaurant for lunch. Thankfully she is now eating off the menu which makes our outings easier as I no longer have to pack a meal for her. She loves the diner. It is loud, bustling, has seats that attach to the table and if she's lucky, she'll be seated in a booth with a mirrored backdrop so she can show herself french fries in the reflection and leave her fingerprints behind. She eats with gusto, and is well practiced at loading up a mouthful as though food were going out of style. She devoured grilled cheese bits, fries, had some pancake and sausage - all while occasionally turning around to point to the men in the booth behind us. Lily now identifies everything as "dah" and typically she is quick to find all children in the restaurant. She then fixates on them, offering an occasional shriek or squeal to get their attention - and is thoroughly entertained as she eyes them while dabbling with containers of creamer and metal spoons. But Saturday it was all about the two men facing her when she turned around. And for a moment my heart sank. As she pointed to them she said "dah" and with that my mind began spinning. Immediately I wondered of she thought one of them was her dad. They really bore no resemblance to Alan but she sees pictures of him all the time and on a superficial level, they did share characteristics. They had scruffy faces and dark hair. Possibly enough for an eleven month old to believe. It was my first taste of "is she looking for him?" and I must brace myself for more similar experiences to come. I dread the ache she will feel when she sees other kids walking to school, swinging from the hands of parents on either side. I dread the absence she'll feel when being picked up at the end of the day. Many children face similar situations with just one parent but I am envious that some of them know that they'll see their father at dinner or perhaps he'll tuck them in that night. And if not that night, sometime soon they'll see them.

Some have told me that what children never know, they don't miss. That idea is both a comfort and nightmare. I want Lily to know who her dad is, was, I want her to know his many wonderful qualities. I want her to be able to imagine the softness of his voice, the strength of his arms, the warmth in his heart. I want her to feel as though his arms are always around her, and that whispers in the wind are his words of encouragement, that he's always there right by her side - In her steps as she walks with me to school, and in my excitement as I lift her into my embrace when I pick her up at day's end. I don't want her searching for him, I want her to know that she's found him within her. My greatest wish is that she feel complete - loved by us both, always.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments - Unpublished.