The Birth of Cool...
I got told that I was cool today, and although I've fielded a compliment before, typically awkwardly, this one pierced my armor and slayed me there on the spot. The honor came from the lips of my giggling daughter as we launched ourselves wantonly into wave after crashing wave (safely Baachan, Grandma, and Mummy...safely) today. We waded waist deep into the crashing surf and each time a wave approached I would squat to face the thing head on and then leap upwards as it broke on us, lifting us with Daddy squats to dry safety and inspiring the most heart thumping smile a little girl's ever wore.
"More Daddy, more," Zo squealed, "I love these waves. Ahhhh, I love them."
So more is what we wholeheartedly welcomed. I've never seen Zo so emphatic, so elated. She lit up. She clutched tightly around my shoulders, and was busy throwing herself into her delight with a wild vigor that I've never seen. She screamed and laughed and kissed my cheek and neck over and over.
"You're so cool Daddy," she squeaked between crashing breakers, and squeezed tighter, and hugged more desperately. "You're sooo cool."
That was enough for me. No compliment will ever matter as much, weigh more, or carry as much significance. Where does she pick these things up? I don't know, but at the moment and still now, I don't care. This wildly intelligent little two and half year old girl thinks that I'm cooler than just about anything on the planet besides maybe dogs that chase things, fairies, and dragons. That's some invaluable affection that I'll refuse to set on the scale with another experience, ever...not for a long time, at least.
Normally compliments slide right off of my back and sneak out of my psyche as fast as they arrive, but I'm gonna cling to this one for awhile. Today might have been the best day at Camp Zed yet. Man, this Daddy thing is a good gig if you can get it.