What A Dad Will Do For His Daughter
by Cheryl D'Aprix
What a Dad will do for his daughter is rock his sick baby girl
until the sun peeks through the darkness
letting him know the night of worry is over.
He will take her small hand in his and walk slowly
as she takes her first walk to the ice cream shop
to share a cone full of heaven on earth.
He will sip from the tiny tea cup she has set in front of him
and in harmony with the stuffed animals carefully placed in their seats
he will sing the praises of her great hospitality.
He will sit through dance recitals and fashion shows
where he is the only audience
and will clap with the enthusiasm of a thousand people.
He will take her fishing and play soccer,
and introduce her to the world outside
as if just experiencing it for the first time himself.
Perhaps he is.
He will sit with her through sweat and tears over homework
that was supposed to be turned in the day before
and he'll smile as they finish, seeing her relief.
He will place a firm hand on the shoulder of the young man
that comes to take her to the school dance
silently letting him know where he stands and what he expects.
He will watch with overflowing pride
as his young lady accepts her high school diploma
and will silently pray to God to calm his fears
and get him throughout the day.
He will be full of conversation and more than happy to listen
when she calls home now and then.
Even when the game of the year is on.
He will gently fold her arm around his
and with all the courage and faith he can hold onto
he will stroll down the aisle, giving her hand but keeping her youth.
He will be the first one in the maternity ward ,
at the nursery window, carefully inspecting the activities
of his new family member.
Another part of her, another part of him.
He will reassure her as time rages on
and the signs of his old age start to frighten her.
He will caress her hand with a passion to which she has never felt
as he whispers his last wishes to her.
He will come to her heart for all her life
as she sees his manner in herself or his features in her children.
He will live in the smiles that grace her face
as she remembers the things he did for her.
And he will teach her how to make paella... :)
My dad is the family paella-maker. It's pretty much the only thing I've ever seen him cook in my life, now that I think about it. He always makes it on the exact same spot in the garden where he ignites the flame and fans the coals while he waits as his 'assistants' (read: my mom and kitchen staff) do all the prep work in the kitchen and bring these out to him. They then have to assembled just so. There's something almost theatrical in his manner and it's always amusing to watch. (Except for the time a burst of flames from the coals engulfed his hand :( )
Last weekend, my sisters and I asked him to teach us how to make his paella. Which he did all too willingly and happily while we followed his instructions and documented the whole process. We each had our assigned roles: cook, scribe and photographer. Guess which role was mine? ;)
Saute, pour, simmer...
Ooohh almost there...