Sunday afternoon, Maria and I went down to the park at the end of our block. It’s a small city
park, with a nice little playground. She rode her new “Razor” scooter down there. She wanted to go so she could do the monkey bars. I can remember when I had to help her with the monkey bars…when she didn’t have the strength to do them alone. Now, she zips through them, effortlessly, like she’s skipping across on her hands.
She’s also FAST on that scooter. She got well ahead of me at several points in our trip, and I had to yell at her to get her to slow down and wait for me. I read a book on fatherhood when she was first born that said that toddlers run away from their parents, and then always come back… enjoying the game itself, and gaining trust by the ever-longer distances they travel.
It’s stunning how quickly it passes and how much she’s changed. I know people have told me this my whole life. But like much of the other good advice I’ve gotten in life, I just asssumed it would be different for me…
As she scooted down the hill, so fast that it took my breath away, I thought about the incredible Sally Fingerett song, “The Return”:
“Promise me, promise me, you will outlive me,
It’s the natural order, the way it should be.
Break from me, take from me, all you can carry,
It’s nature, it’s nuture, and then it’s your turn.
The things that I teach you I learn.
Tossed in the air, your baby goes flying,
Into the sun, under wide open skies,
Bright blue and shining
She’s earthbound and she’s running,
There in her eyes, it’s your love that will
While we were there, I sat wordlessly next to a couple from somewhere in South Asia. Vietnaam, perhaps? It was clear they spoke almost no English, because they didn’t respond to my severalattempts to engage them. They grinned kindly, and smiled at Maria.
They were probably in their early sixties, and were there with a small baby in a stroller that I can only assume is a grandchild.
Was this their first visit? Had they come all the way from somehwhere like Vietnaam to see her? What did they think of North Dallas, or of Maria and I? What incredible things had they seen inlife? Did they know anyone caught up in the Tsunami?
So many unanswered questions. And instead, they just grinned and smiled and me, and I at them. And as they shuffled back up the street, I thought about what an amazing and small world we live in.