So, I have been gone for the past week. Some of you might be thinking, He was gone? Really? My daughter spent the past few days here with me...after sixteen years. In fact, the last time I saw her was her 2nd birthday, so, exactly 16 years.
The entire time was a priceless memory that I will cherish always. And yesterday, December 20th, when she returned to Missouri, I waited until she was heading for the gate until I let the first tear fall. I was missing her before I had even let go of that last hug.
As I write this, I have "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve playing...and I am still a bit misty. It doesn't help that I am wearing a set of Perry the Platypus PJs that she got me (complete with beaver tail). And so tonight, I am a bit sad. (And it has nothing to do with the jammies.) I wonder how long (to the day) it will be until I get to see her again...but at least now I know that I will.
Some of the stuff the past few days that really sticks is just how many things we have in common...despite the 16 years of separation. And what felt great was hearing her say "Dad..." the magic word that melts the heart. That word led to driving lessons...more than one trip to Voodoo Doughnut...and Buffalo Wild Wings. She learned quick that just the right inflection was like waving a magic wand.
So, we had her birthday the night she arrived (the 15th) and Christmas the morning she had to leave (the 20th). There is that natural temptation to try and make it all up in one fell swoop. It was actually her saying on more than one occasion, "I don't need that." She is a very sensible girl...and could have taken full advantage of my wanting to give her the world. She never tried, and actually reeled me in more than once.
So, while she was here, she was able to see the excitement behind my newest release. She got to see Catie Rhodes' feature on my writing playlist. And at the airport, she witnessed me meeting a fan. "Wow, she was really into that zombie thing," is pretty close to a quote from her as we walked away after a few moments of this very nice young lady asking me a handful of questions.
I could gush and go on...but instead, I will simply say that Christmas came early for me this year.