Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I used to be Superman...

     It wasn't all that long ago that I could move mountains and leap tall buildings in a single bound...I was strong and incredibly fast in her eyes. If it was broken, I could fix it. If there was a problem, I could solve it. No task was too tough...yep, a real Superman.

     In what seems like the blink of an eye, Superman was struck by kryptonite and my powers faded fast...It came in the form of ballgames and driver's license, boyfriends and girl talk, texting and sleep overs, sports and homework and camps and cars and part-time jobs. It came in the form of time, zooming past, faster than a speeding bullet...

     But come November, a little bit of Superman comes back in her eyes and I get to put the "S" on my chest for 2 or 3 days in the woods with her. She sees me in my element and that spark of the outdoors still flickers in her. Regardless of the weather, warm or cold, you'll find us bundled up, 20' up a tree over an ancient trail, rutted into the dirt...Watching, waiting and whispering...Not much talking, but there doesn't need to be. Everything that needs to be said between us has been as we've played this game each fall. The breeze blows against us and we settle back in our seats for our ritual. Eventually, I'll feel her head rest against my shoulder. Her breathing becomes deep and soon, she's drifted off, dead weight against me and I'll smile...I turn to the right and watch her as she cat naps and my mind races back to the little strawberry blond girl walking into kindergarten for the first time, her backpack bouncing up and down...eyes well up and a lump in the throat as I grin from the satisfaction and the privilege of watching her grow.

The best daughter a Dad could hope for!
     A twig snaps and the leaves crunch...I nudge her awake with my elbow and she's at the ready. Both of our hearts beating out of our chests and our breath quickens! Just a few more steps, safety off, finger on the trigger... 


     Yeah, my super powers have long since left, but I'm content just being her Dad...and so is she.