Daydreams and Diaries: A Love Story

Posted by on 04.20.10 | No Comments
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How Fathers Become Marshmallows

Taylor is a few months old. She is bobbing atop our mercurial waterbed, cleaned and wiped with a fresh diaper that I have changed and I am alone with her in our bedroom.

I marvel at those big eyes. How did she ever get such big eyes? I lean over to sit beside her and cause the bed to jiggle. Taylor bobs a bit.

“Okay. Taylor, this is our bonding time, are you ready?” I ask.

Taylor doesn’t respond. She doesn’t understand a word I’m saying of course. So I decide to to resort to song.

“I am going to sing you grandfather Black’s favorite song, ‘Red River Valley’ and then I will sing your Grandfather Joe’s favorite: ‘Down in the Valley.” It seems your grandfathers were valley people, young lady.”

As I begin to sing I put a pinky finger in her little hand and she grabs on. I am bonding with my child. It is a wonderful feeling. The touch of the tiny, the innocent, the vulnerable, my blood. I begin to sing:

“From this valley they say you are going, I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile…” and Taylor begins to smile as if on cue. My daughter appreciates good singing I think, either that or she is passing gas. I finish ‘Red River Valley’ and begin ‘Down in the Valley’ and Pam walks in.

“You know,” she says. “Your daughter will someday fall in love with a cowboy because of this. She is going to love country music.”

I smile at my wife. “Oh sure, right,” I say.

But then I envision her as a young woman sitting in the audience of the Grand Old Opry in Nashville. That would be better than rock music I think.

I sing ‘Red River Valley’ another time, but this time cradling Taylor in my arms, kissing her lightly on the cheek. She gurgles and giggles. I’m hooked. My eyes moistion. I am so deeply in love with this baby girl. So small, so innocent so alive.

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