Friday, July 28, 2006


We got to sleep quite late last night. Before I nodded off, Nikki turned to me and said: “She loves us so much.”

“She sure does,” I replied as my consciousness dimmed.

“We’d better enjoy it while she does,” Nikki said, in a far-off voice.

In my dream, I saw Sage as a young woman, beautiful and intelligent like her mother, and willful like me. I think we were arguing; she wanted to go out and I didn’t want her to. Words were exchanged and I said something only a dad could say in a devastating way.

“You don’t love me,” she replied to whatever it was I said (all I know is the gravity of my words, the import and implications and intent).

“Of course we do,” I told her; no, actually, it’s more of “boomed”. I boomed at her.

“You don’t,” Sage said. “I’d rather be with my friends.” She slammed the dreaming door, the resulting imaginary sound enough to wake me up.

In my groggy state, I went to the kitchen for a glass of water, enveloped in the sickly sad sticky embrace of dream logic. I felt terrible, as if the argument were true, as if my 4 year old daughter had miraculously transformed into a teenager (straight out of spec fic, I know), as if, as if, as if. But the pain felt real; it felt True with a capital “t”.

Years into the future I’m certain we will have that fight, one among many, in the manner that fathers and daughters argue, in the way that youth challenges authority, as I did when I was a young man.

I’m recast in the drama. I used to play the angry son, my new role is older man; an inevitable change triggered by Sage’s birth and made more real with each passing day, with each passing year.

I’m not comfortable with the thought but what can I do? Love her, of course, and hope for the best. Learn patience while I still can. And tolerance. And acceptance of change.

And new vocabularies, so that the weight of my future words - when I sadly, inevitably speak them - will not crush either of us.

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