Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ten Minutes More...

She's sleeping right now, not three feet away from where I type. It's quiet here, and I feel connected to her by her soft breathing not more than arms length away from my spot on the floor. Sometimes I like to just linger...long after she's drifted away to sleep. I brush the hair back from her cherub face, and rest my palm on her gently heaving back, and sometimes I just smell her, fresh from the bath, and smelling as only she does. It sounds crazy...a grown man, and certainly in the rarified company of what is typically Moms doing this sort of thing...this tuck you in and stay...marvel...swoon. It's not the first time I feel fairly I solitary in the most masculine of senses. Most of the men I know spend most of their time in garages and watching Sunday Night Football. Not me. I suppose, to be fair, I should say that I don't have a garage, and that I couldn't tell you who plays football tonight. I only know that my daughter fall asleep tonight to the sound of her Dad's voice reading from E. B. White's, Stuart Little, and that she wanted me to rub her back while I did so. It didn't take long for her to slip away into usually doesn't when Dad's big hands rub circles into her warm back, and his voice urges sleep to waste no time coming. I'm a forty year old man and even I can imagine that it's a nice way to nod off. I'm tempted to ponder the notion again how it is that most men miss this, but we've gone there before, and they have only themselves to blame, and their decisions to regret. I know enough about regret to know that you should cultivate it. It manages to grow through the cracks of the sidewalk easily enough on its own. Tuck your babies in gentlemen, lest you wish you had when it's long past the time you can. It's one regret I don't ever hope to harvest. You reap what you sow, they say, and I want to sow this feeling forever. She was tired from the Fair, no doubt, but I like to think that Daddy's big hands and soft voice helped. I really should get up from this floor and carry on with my night, but what's ten minutes more. Someday I'll wish I traded my soul for just ten minutes more. I'll fall asleep a little later knowing that I didn't have to, not tonight.


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