We are maybe a couple cans of spinach away from a whole new ballgame around these parts. A Whole. New. Ballgame.
There are so many magic moments that come along with fatherhood. Watching the baby crawling across the floor. Seeing the kid stand up for that first wobbly second, when you see it in his or her eyes, that sparkle that says,” THIS is where I want to be!” Those first few steps,of course. That day when those two little legs wiggle and shiver and finally just pop out into a short little run of two or three feet max. It seems like you watched them march a long country mile though, huh?
So, when I became a dad I knew enough to recognize that amid all of the time/care/effort/and love I was going to be required to produce and re-supply for the rest of my days, there would also turn out to be a surprise or two for me along the way. Something cool that finally boomeranged back at me after all the one way flights that I continually sent out into the world.
This past weekend I stumbled on a new surprise. And oh what a chocolate covered golden nugget is going to turn out to be.
Violet has really taken a recent shine to helping me get her meals and drinks ready at breakfast or whatever. We’ll head to the fridge together and we’ll discuss whether she is in a Milky Mood or not. We’ll talk about butter, maybe some ketchup, about whether she wants them or not.
We talk of the tartar sauce.
“The fish stick deserves the tartar sauce, sweetheart,” I spell it out for her. “He swam past sharks and under ice cliffs. He dove down deep into the coldest ocean basements just so he could keep that all that white meat perfectly light and feathery flakey just for you, little girl.”
She looks at me, smiling in disbelief. I don’t know if she quite understands what I am telling her, but one thing is for certain. She is learning to sit through all my rigmarole, knowing there is usually something to eat on the far end of that long-winded tunnel.
“Take that tartar sauce off of the shelf, Dollface,” I say, pointing at the plastic squeeze bottle on the ledge in the fridge. “Do right by that wild fish you are about to incorporate into your own fusebox. Put some tartar on him, kid.”
She does it. Just to move on with life, I reckon.
And now, in the past couple of days, I have noticed that she can almost open that slab of fridge door on her precious own. The suction between the rubber strips and the plastic frame, the magnets up in the corner, they’re all still a little to much just yet for her and her skinny arms. But it’s budging a bit when she tugs and I don’t think we are long for it at all, friend. I don’t think we are long until my daughter will be able to open that fridge.
Then, like a trillion guys down though the ages, fathers from China and Serbia and Argentina and Chicago and France and Old Bombay and Vietnam and Rome and Hackensack and Bavaria and Florida and Barcelona and wherever you wanna stick in here, like all those who have come before me in the Kingdom of Dad: I might end up with a cold slice of pizza and a cold beer being hand delivered by the very apple of my eye.