Posted by Danny
I remember June 28, 1997, like it was yesterday. Lisa told me I had to stay up by her head during delivery, “All that stuff below the waist is between my doctor and me.”
“I thought that area was between you and me.”
“That was before.”
I was actually grateful not to be in the war zone.
When DJ came out, the nurse gasped.
“What’s wrong?” Lisa asked with concern. The look on the nurse’s face was disturbing.
“She’s blonde,” our new friend exclaimed.
“You gasped because she’s blonde?” I did realize we were in an all brunette delivery room although I didn’t think it was all that peculiar for two dark-haired parents to produce a tow-headed offspring.
As the nurse lifted DJ from her placentad pouch, her head was elongated –
“She looks like a cone head from Saturday Night Live…and why is she so blue?” I was actually a bit disappointed. I thought we could have done better.
“Her color will come” the nurse assured me as she began massaging DJ’s limbs. “The first to forge through the birth canal often has a oblonged head. It will round out in time.”
“Can you put a hat on her? I want to take pictures to show to our friends.”
Those are my first memories of DJ. A cone headed Smurf with curly blonde hair. And yet, the most beautiful Smurf I had ever seen. Seems just like yesterday.
But it wasn’t. It was 15 years ago. And last Friday, I drove her to the DMV office to get her driver’s permit. She drove me home.
How did this kid, once dependent on me for her every need, end up driving me down the highway? How did she end up being mature and self-sufficient? How is it that I suddenly find myself asking her for her opinion on issues that matter? Why is it that at times she is worried about me or concerned for my future? Shouldn’t she be fully consumed with herself?
Boy did I love my kids when they were younger. At the beach we built castles in the sand, and I’d dig a hole that all three of them could sit in. This year we rode waves, tried to surf and sat in our beach chairs laughing and talking about life.
In a way, it is really hard to see my kids grow up. In another, it is a beautiful thing.
I’m thankful that I’m here to watch it all unfold; not all parents have that honor.
It is important for me that each of my daughters remembers Lisa, so I have begun to put certain possessions of hers aside. I gave DJ the first one – Lisa’s key ring.
She had it long before we started dating. It must be 25 years old.
I won’t be able to be with my girls at all times as they learn to maneuver this world, but maybe I can help them realize that Lisa and I are always with them in spirit.
That’s what I want them to feel – our support and presence on this journey of life.