Day 8: Tell your life story from someone else’s point of view.
I remember everything had slowed down and then, suddenly, everything was rapid again. It felt like Ursula was pregnant for an eternity, her belly growing ever so slowly, but then instantly the labor process started. Everyone’s pace quickened as we anticipated the birth of this little child, this little person. It had been almost twenty years since I had witnessed the birth of a child–my own flesh and blood, I should say. I ran away from that, wanting freedom from the standard American family, but here I was again, waiting for that standard American family to start-up again. And not once, while Ursula was pregnant, did I think this little girl would be the apple of my eye.
From tufts of black hair, the same shade as mine, when she was born, this little person grew into a blonde haired, blue-eyed toddler with the imagination of the greatest artists in the world. At a young age, she was a wonder, wondering about everything from a young child perspective to an almost adult worry. She amazed me. We’d spend every Saturday together, while Ursula worked. We’d get breakfast or run errands, and she’d love it because I’d occasionally let her stay in her pink footie pajamas all day (at least until Ursula came home). I remember one breakfast excursion, she ordered a cup of coffee. It amazed me that she was mimicking me, as her tiny hands picked up the comic section of the newspaper as she waited for that hot cup o’ Joe. We read in unison and she tried a sip of my coffee (and she stuck her tongue out in disgust at the bitterness) as we waited for our meals. In that instance, I knew she was fascinated with the adult lifestyles her mother and I displayed for her; she was ready to grow up, but I wasn’t ready for my little girl to do so.
The “boys have cooties” phase was probably my favorite! I remember she came home from school, one day, and announced that she aspired to be a nun. I didn’t grow up Catholic, but I was overjoyed! No boys would try to take advantage of or her, or worse try and take my daughter away. But, sadly, I knew this phase wouldn’t last much longer, but the comic relief around the whole thing made for some hope.
The next thing I knew, my little girl was in middle school, and what used to be a sunshine-filled child became a quiet victim. Had I known she was being bullied, damn it, had I been paying attention more, I would’ve been her superhero, swooping in to save the day! But, my little girl wouldn’t want it that way. She’s just like me in that she thinks she can solve her own problems, wanting the spotlight as far away from her person as possible. Like me, I knew she’ll learn that sometimes asking for help is okay.
My little girl didn’t really open up to me, or Ursula, again until college. She found her voice, became a leader, and was positively happy. She’d fallen in love, and although I’m still skeptical of some man taking my daughter away from me, I don’t know if I could pick anyone else for a better fit, but I also will never tell her that. She’s blossomed into this profound woman with so much life and imagination. Sometimes, her and I will just write the first things that come to mind and they turn into these elaborate stories that we laugh about until the sun comes up. My little girl has so much potential ahead of her, and I wish she’d slow down.
Things were slow, until that fateful winter day when things sped up quickly, a baby was born, and within a second it seems she has grown into a woman. My little girl, always that little bundle of joy in my mind, the apple of my eye.
A/N: I’d never really written about my father, or from my father’s perspective. Shoot, I even forgot to post a shout-out to him on Father’s Day (sorry Pops)! I guess this is redemption for that. I’m lucky enough to say that my father has been in all twenty-three years of my life, and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s fitting because my mother and his 16th wedding anniversary is coming up this week, so what better to tell my story from his eyes. I love you, Pops! You’re the apple of my eye, too.