Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Real Men Don't....except when it comes to their daughters
It used to be, that if I needed to remoisten my contacts, I could just close my eyes and think of my best dog Ranger. He's been gone for about 5 years now, but it always seems to work.
Last Friday, I discovered another way. The workday was over and I was alone at my computer trying to write the text for Katie's senior page in the yearbook. A senior page is a full page tribute to your graduating senior that parents create. The page is a photo collage with a "We're so proud" type letter from the parents. The pictures for Katie's page had been chosen and the yearbook teacher told me that she needed the text to complete the page. The deadline was close, could I do it before I went home for the weekend?
So, there I was, staring at a monitor and trying to put into words what a wonder a daughter is, how proud we are of her, how happy we are for this milestone she is approaching. This was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Her senior year had always been this point far in the future, a sort of nebulous destination that seemed light years away. Yet, here I was...
I scrolled through her pictures looking for inspiration. Some bit of chalk dust must have drifted into my eyes, they began to water. I typed a little, but then more of that damn chalk dust must have entered my throat, because I had a lump in it. I got up and locked the classroom door.
I sat down and resumed typing my Katie tribute. Stupid chalk dust! Now my eyes were leaking, my nose sniffling, and I had a lump the size of a roundrock in my throat. I grabbed a paper towel, wiped and blew.
Deep breath now as I wrote about this baby, this toddler, this child, this teen, this young woman. Like every parent who gets to this point, I can't believe we HAVE gotten to this point, and yet here we are. I think I had ignored that fact until that moment.
It was hitting home pretty hard, and in that empty classroom, I reached for a wad of paper towels and kept writing. Finally, I finished. I rinsed my face in the lab sink, did some deep breathing, slapped on a pair of dark shades and headed up the hall to the yearbook sponsor's classroom.
She took the paper and read it. She looked at me. She hugged me.
Posted by R.Powers at 11:00 AM