Friday, September 08, 2006

Memories forgotten

An angel lays next to me on the couch, torso heaving with each breath, if you can use the word "heaving" when describing the breathing of a 5-year-old. She sucks her thumb to allow herself to slide into slumber, and it is still in her mouth, albeit a slack-jaw mouth currently, relaxed with sleep. College students beat each other's brains out over a football game on high def, while a blonde haired, blue eyed cherub quietly snores, breaking my heart with every sleepy sigh.

I've been working my ass off, and as a single dad, not spending as much time with Li'l Knuck as before. So the little time we have together is monumental to me, good fun to her. We have to work tomorrow. I own a small business. She will run the register when interested, watch Nick, Jr. when bored.

Upon closing at two, we will likely drive the five minutes over to the State Fair, where she can pet goats and ride kiddie coasters with her dad and be disinterested in large pumpkins. We'll get cotton candy and corn dogs and leave fatter than before and she'll fall asleep in the car on the way home.

Then on Sunday, we'll go to her second Titans' game. While I am interested in the future of the Nashville NFL franchise, and I would like to analyze in real time the potential of a young, untested squad, we will spend the first half commenting on the cheerleaders (OK by me), the food selection, the crazy fan dressed like a Titan superhero one row in front of us, and how funny Ice Age 2 is. And we'll likely leave at halftime. She'll always remember this weekend, right?

I know that I don't have many clear memories before the age of five. So, she'll be no different. It's a weird thing, this parent game, when you have a young one, and you know that everything you do for the first several years will be forgotten. That post-shit-hit-the-fan-with-her-mom trip to Sea World is forgotten. That hike to Burgess Falls where you carried her 40 pound sleepy body a mile back to the car will be forgotten. That one-bedroom apartment we shacked up in for half a year will be forgotten. I knew it would be forgotten when it was going on, but it was important for both our developments as living, breathing people.

She doesn't even remember us all living together as a family.

So now, at five, we are doing stuff that she may remember for the rest of her life. Maybe. I hope so. "My Dad let me run the register at work, then we went to the State Fair and the next day we went to a Titans' game!"

Will she possibly remember this weekend that way? Not a chance. But as long as she insists that I am the best Daddy in the whole world, I will continue to make our time together eventful, if not memorable.

She's pulled her thumb out of her mouth. I'll carry her to her bed in a few minutes. She'll come into my bed in a few hours. She kicks me at night when she's in my bed. Tonight, she put socks on when she put on her PJs. She said, with a glint in her eye, that she put on the socks so that when she kicked me, it would be "nice and comfy" for me.

I hope she remembers that.


At 7:49 AM , Anonymous BG Phil T said...

You'll be surprised at what she will remember in a few years. I sure was. I've been divorced since my youngest was 3...he is 11 now and remembers silly things like a Nerf gun war he, his brothers (16 and 14) and I had in the nearly empty "family home" just before it sold. He remembers his first NASCAR race at age 7 where - when I offered to buy each of them a souvenir - he decided he wanted a number 6 diecast "Virginia" car (he lives in Virginia with his mom...but it was the VIAGRA car....try explaining that one!)

He and I have always had "TV time" at 6 am (we rise before anyone else) and he remembers snuggling in the chair beside me and watching Rocketpower. We still do that, but sit on the couch now that we are both larger. We have also started a "Team Walmart" tradition early on Saturday (trust me, its the ONLY time to go to Wally's) - buying groceries for all of us so his stepmom won't have to go :)

Just keep fighting the good fight Knuck. Lil Knuck sees it and will remember it....fondly

At 8:15 AM , Blogger Malia said...

Makin' me cry on Saturday morning! You're such a good daddy! And I completely understand what you mean about what they'll remember of these early years. I think that even though they may not remember specific events and activities well into their older child and teen years, they will remember you and your attitude with them and your love, consistency, loyalty and patience. She will know without a doubt that you love her and have always loved her. She'll know that you will always love her no matter what. She will know that you have always been there for her, so when she's older and finding herself in precarious situations, she'll know who she can trust and turn to. Those are the "memories" these early years burn into them.

At 10:46 AM , Blogger newscoma said...

One of my first memories was with my father swinging me around.
I thought I was flying.
Your doing just fine, Knuck.

At 4:54 PM , Anonymous Jamie said...

You are making great memories with your daughter. And it sounds like you are doing a fine job as a daddy! She is going to remember these times and know most important of all that she is loved. Very sweet post.


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