Things have been rather, chaotic the past few weeks here, with changes and what not.
This weekend, I decided to take Madi out, its been a while. I say that every time I take her somewhere. “Its been a while” but as hard as I try, I just cant seem to get it right. I say every time that were going to do it more often, that I am going to make time, that I will try harder, but every time, I fail, and wind up trying to make up for lost time with some sugar laden treat that she rarely gets.
The thing about her, is she can talk, and you get her entire life story in the matter of minutes. Add sugar, and you’ve got her entire life story and THEN some in less than five minutes. Which is good, because I can catch up with her in less than five minutes. You can get her to talk about anything, but once you get her started, don’t try to stop her, especially is sugar has been involved, because there will be NO stopping her, no matter what.
This morning, she decided she wanted to get pancakes, with strawberries and whip cream, and all that sugary stuff. We pulled into a little diner, she ordered, and there we sat. Florescent lights, red booths, the smell of smoke floating mixed with cheep diner food, and coffee. Her on one side, me on the other. For once she was quiet, looking out the window behind me, she smiled…
I don’t know what it is, but every time I take her out, alone, I get…tied up. Knowing that all I have to do is ask her one question, and the rest will be history. Its like I don’t know her, like she doesn’t belong with me, like I shouldn’t be sitting there with her, like Im doing something wrong…being seen in public, just her and I. Every time I am with her, she seems to have grown atleast an inch, changed in so many ways, its almost hard to know where to begin. I find it hard, sometimes, to relate to her. I know nothing about what shes going through, no way to help her…
It’s the one topic I know I can count on, her eyes lit up, and she didn’t waste anytime filling me in on all of her favorite subjects, teachers, and friends. She told me all about her latest idea, and who she wants to be like when she grows up, more, that is. Correcting herself, just to make sure I know that she already IS grown up. Her pancakes arrived, and I heard about her friends, their friends, and their favorite past times. I heard about the party that she didn’t want to attend, and why she didn’t want to. She laughed as she told me a story, between bites, and at one point, strawberries flew across the table because something that I never did quite understand, was so funny.
For 30 minutes, it was just her and I.
Almost as if the rest of the world didn’t exist…and if it did, they didn’t matter. 80’s music blared from the speakers, the table behind us roared in laughter, and she pushed her plate away, with a grin.
I sent her to the bathroom to wash her hands, as I surveyed the bill, pulled some money out, and drank the last of my coffee.
Then I sat there, waiting for her to return, taking in my surroundings that I had blocked out for the past 30 minutes. The laughter, the music, the smells, the sites…and then I wondered how I got so lucky.
How the worst possible things in my life, have turned into something like this. How something so tragic and unfair could turn into something like this. Something that words don’t do justice to explain, something that I never thought would be possible, but as I walked out to the truck, watching her race ahead burning off some pent up energy, I realized that not only had I let myself love again…but I had let myself love her, like a daughter.