Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Love letters

“Daddy” says my daughter, coming up behind the sofa and leaning over towards me. “Can I have a piece of paper please?”

I give her a sheet and she goes away to her room.

A little later she re-appears and hands the paper back saying “Look, I’ve done this for my friend.”

I take it and find in amazement that it is filled with writing. Something strange has happened recently: my daughter now reads to me the books I used to read to her. She trips through the words using the same intonations I used to. And then there’s the writing. Some of the words are familiar, others not. But it’s undeniably writing.

It says:

I’ve got 46 stickers I countid them on Tuesday 2009 17th the 17.03.09 March. Yor my best frend. I hoap you have a sooper holoday and Il tri and get my mummy to have a play date

Love from Xxxxx


I congratulate her on her efforts. She smiles broadly back, but suddenly I don’t see the straight-backed girl with fraying pigtails and biscuity mouth in front of me. Instead I see the baby I fed with milk from a tiny bottle and rocked to sleep in an attic bedroom five years earlier. I can’t remember any of the countless tiny moments in between and I can’t begin to understand how the change has happened.

25 comments:

Iota said...

Do you know that scene in the film 'Father of the Bride'? The one where the family is at the dinner table, and the daughter is telling the father that she is getting married, and he suddenly sees her as a little girl in pigtails, saying "when I grow up, I'm going to get married".

Your post reminds me of that scene.

Motheratlarge said...

You have an amazing capacity to articulate all the unformed ideas that whirl around in my head - I've been thinking about this same 'overnight' transformation in my own daughter, but could never have expressed it as well as you. Thank you - lovely posting.

Stay at home dad said...

Hi Iota. I have seen the film but didn't remember that bit... Never really considered the comic potential of this stuff!

Stay at home dad said...

Hello there M@l. Thanks so much. Having read your recent 'well done' posting I think you are more than capable. Really enjoyed it.

Iota said...

That's one of the moving and tear-jerking moments, not one of the comedy moments.

Stay at home dad said...

Oh ok, sorry it's been a while...!

Elsie Button said...

i

Iota said...

You'll be revisiting the film soon, when a few more years have whizzed by in the blink of an eye, and you're looking for films that are 'family friendly' without being babyish (it's a very small margin, believe me).

Stay at home dad said...

Elsie, I so agree...

Yes Iota, I can imagine. In fact my next blog is going to cover that...

Livvy U. said...

Oh the wonder of words, yours and hers! That 'countid' - it just tugs the heart. Those penny-dropping moments (for them), heart-wrenching for us, wanting them to grow and yet not. Captured so well here.
Livvy x

Stay at home dad said...

Thanks Livvy. And very well-encapsulated yourself! I hope things are ok with you...
Sahd

Mimi said...

Another beautiful post. I love the "biscuity mouth" bit.
And I agree, it's hard to know where the years go, they really do fly by. I sometimes wish I had a remote to fast forward the unpleasant bits, and slow-play the nice bits.
Lovely to see you back.

paul said...

Great to see you posting again - lovely post as ever, and so, so true.
Hope all is well with you!

The Hol Story said...

Breaks my heart, my little girl is only 20 months, but I'm sure she'll be grown up before I know it.

Your story makes me remember to apprecite my little girl more every day.

http://theholstory.blogspot.com/

Stay at home dad said...

Hi Mimi. Thanks very much. That would be a valuable device ... I'm sure someone in Silicon Valley is working on it!

Hi Paul. Thanks for coming by... we should have a coffee soon...

Hello The Hol Story. She will... she will...

Jane said...

When things like this happens we couldn't stop but think that we're also getting old. Anyways, all that has transpired in ourlives are truly and fully documented in our minds as memories and those will always keep alive and kicking. Thanks for sharing your sentiments. By the way, these best gifts that you could give your better-half might interest you too. Thanks and have a nice and fulfilling day.

Stay at home dad said...

Lol

Homemaker Man said...

Hey. another stay-at-home-dad here. Enjoying your writing. My 1st is only 2 and I already get misty for the past. It's just crazy.

Stay at home dad said...

Hi Homemaker Man. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Keep up the good work!

Sahd

Livvy U. said...

Are you coming back, SAHD? If I can do it, anyone can... Please?
Livvy x

StayAtHomeDad said...

all round greatness

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The Reluctant Mr Mum said...

Having been a stay-at-home dad I was lucky to have been able to spend time with my daughter during all her younger years at home. I fully relate with what you say , children grow so quick. So much so that before you now it your baby girl has become a walking, talking,writing and reading little girl with her own sense of independence. it's a tough time but it's also a pleasure to watch children grow . The Reluctant Mr Mum http//www.jfrodrigues.co.uk

* said...

Hi Livvy etc and thanks for your comments. I am coming back soon!