January 22, 2010

What Do Fathers Dream About

The dark haired beauty looks up at me, a mass of long dark curls cascading down the side of her head and orders me to pick her up. "Abba, I am 5.5 now and I want a phone and pierced ears."

As she says this she hugs me, caresses my face and kisses my cheek. This girl of mine has been studying me for her entire life. She thinks that she has me wrapped around her finger. A hug, kiss and a coy look are all tools that she uses to try and disarm me. This little girl has discovered that feminine wiles can be used to try and get her way.

I squeeze her back, kiss her forehead and ask her if she wants to know a secret. She smiles and leans in so that I can whisper in her ear. "I love you! And that is why you aren't getting a phone." She snaps her head back and gives me a quizzical look.

I laugh and remind her that I grew up with 1,298,098 sisters. I know all of the tricks and none of them work on me. And then I explain to her that because I love her I set boundaries. She tries one more tactic, tells me that she dreamt that I gave her a phone. I smile again and tell her that dreams are good and that mine are different.

In response she asks, "What do daddies dream about? It is an excellent question. And I swear that for a moment the little girl is gone and a woman is standing in front of me. I suppose that it catches my attention because I think of dreams often. It is a regular topic between the boys and I, dreams that is.

We talk about about them, the boys and I. All of us are in some kind of transitional place in our lives. Some are getting divorced, some are dealing with unemployment/career issues and all are trying to figure out what it means to see our thirties in the rear view mirror.

I take the dark haired beauty by her hand and lead her to the couch. We sit down and she curls up against me. I close my eyes for a moment and savor the moment. She is growing quickly and I see the time when she won't make this sort of time for me.

I tell her that daddies dream about taking care of their families. I tell her that daddies look at their children and dream about helping them to become good people who have character and are happy. I tell her that it is my job to help her avoid making some of the mistakes that I have made. She scrunches up her face and says that is impossible, I am a boy.

I roll my eyes at her and watch her giggle. She is at that age where it is fun to say that "boys are stinky." I say that we aren't stinky and she tells me that she told everyone in school that I can't drink milk anymore. I smile at her and tell her that she should tell them I am "lactose intolerant." That should make for fine conversation.

Just when I think that I have redirected the topic she tells me that she doesn't want to go in the bathroom when I come out of it. Damn if this kid isn't trying to get the last word on me. I smile at her and tell her that it is time to get ready for bed. She tells me that she isn't ready.

I nod my head and tell her that I have a solution for that. She asks me what it is and tell her to follow me into the kitchen. I open up the fridge and take out the milk. As I get a cup I tell her that if she doesn't want to go to bed she can hang out and see what happens if I drink milk.

She scrunches up her nose and screams "no way." I smile and chuckle. I have to call my sisters and let them know that I have found a new victim for old tricks.

A short time later that little girl is tucked inside her bed. She has just finished reading a story to me. As she drifts off to sleep I smile and think about writing a post about my dreams. Maybe I have grown a bit too accustomed to blogging about life. ;)

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