Wednesday, September 21, 2016

In the twilight . . .

A moment in time . . .

My daughter's name is Kylie.  At 11 years old she is all legs, laughter, hugs and constant activity.  One moment she is at the dinner table and in the next moment she is dancing in the family room.  Her room is never clean and her brain is in a constant state of activity.  It's a glorious mess.

Spending a day together at the shore, we rode bikes on the boardwalk in the morning.  After some lunch at the house we went to the beach.  We rented a paddle board.  For dinner we ate hoagies on the beach.

Back at the house as evening crept in, I did my crossword on the porch as she took a short nap.  Not down for long,  she leaned opened the door to the porch and asked me if I wanted to play diner.

I knew we should have been leaving because we still had ride tickets to spend on the boardwalk.   But how could I resist playing diner on such a special day - just my daughter and I?  She came out in an apron and put a menu she had just created in front of me.  I pretended to be a very discriminating patron of a very fancy restaurant.  She smiled at my effort and responded in kind.  We played these parts for the next ten minutes.  Then we switched roles.  I was the waiter and she was the lady ordering the finest fare.

I loved it and I hated it.

I loved how we were completely ensconced in enjoying this moment.  It wasn't 'playing.'  We were waiters, we were the elite enjoying Foie Gras and the finest Italian Sorbetto.  I loved how she trusted me to play these parts with her and join her in this make believe.

I hated how as the sun was setting, so too were these moments with her.  I hated the realization that this could be the last time we would do this and really mean it.  I wanted her to stay this young forever.

Now, I really don't want her to be young forever.  Imagining her at thirty years old asking me to play diner is weird.  I want her to grow up and enjoy all that life has to offer.  But in the growing dusk, I just wanted to stay in this place for a very long time - enjoying this moment.

For all the madness of this age, here was a sincere heart sharing her world with me - and that was a gift I will always treasure.

We left the porch shortly afterward and joined the crowded madness of the boardwalk but it didn't erase the bittersweet dance of tender innocence we shared as the sun went down.

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