Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quote of the day: I want you to

Tuesday nights, I come home late. Melía knows this, and waits up for me. Every Tuesday.

This Tuesday, the moment I closed the front door, I heard her suck in her breath all the way down the hall. It's the same noise her mommy makes when something destructively messy is about to happen. Or when she's really excited.

I stepped into the hallway, tentative, knowing what I'd see, but pretending not to know. She was out of her bed--grounds for a time-out after she's been put down--and squatting in the hallway outside her door, wide-eyed and beaming like I'd just come home from Iraq or something.

I stalked her, trying in vain to open my eyes as wide and blue as hers, singing, "I'm gonna catch you, you better run. I'm gonna catch you, here I come" (as made famous on Noggin by Laurie Berkner).

Normally Melía RUNS from this. She loves to run, especially from Daddy. Most fun for both of us is the instant when I catch her, scoop her tiny frame up in my arms, and kiss her tummy.

But tonight, she just said,

"That's OK."

I stalked closer in mock menace, wondering when the regular game would take hold. "I'm gonna catch you, you better run. I'm gonna catch you, here I come!" I sang, upping the intensity of my threat.

"That's OK," she said again, motionless. "Because I want you to."

Of course, my arms melted around her. I kissed her cheeks, her hair, and the bare forehead that now shines below her self-styled bangs. I put her back in her bed, and before I could say bedtime prayers, she told me once more. "It was OK that you catched me. Because I wanted you to."

Here's to daddyhood and daughters--to the chase, to the flight and to the times when more than anything else, she just wants to be caught.


MoziEsmé said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours - what a sweet moment to document and remember...

toni mom said...

that is awfully sweet. there's something magical about the relationship between a girl and her daddy.