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A Short Story - Forty Years Long
Not so long ago and in a place not so far away,
a wish became a dream and the dream became reality. Forty years ago (1972), in this hour (9:30),on this day (July 10th), lives were altered. Leading up to this event, plans and preparations were made for nine months. What a short time to prepare for this life altering event and yet it seemed to take forever. Anticipation was great! Yet, unbeknown to all, the magnitude was unfathomable and will continue to be so even forty years later. Oh, there were clues and ideas of how things would change but, it is never ever guaranteed or confirmed to be exactly as wanted, dreamed or warned. Sometimes, it is far more than dreamed.
For one, it was clear to all the others, this had become an obsession that was to be unending. First, a name had to be chosen, a task that did cause some disagreements with the other citizens. Well, there really was only one other that had great concerns about the choice he presented but, finally in his wisdom he had given in to a compromise to the she. He was given a choice from two, and then took the suggestion for a middle name and was allowed to credit himself for this first very important task. He was growing in passion and wisdom.
The preparation was never ending or so it seemed. Items needed to be bought, put together with the greatest of care, appointments kept and monitored so nothing unexpected happened, proclamations were sent to all who would have contact that the utmost care was to be taken to avoid any and all harmful situations.
This was his magnificent obsession, which may have been an annoyance to some, but was only whispered about throughout this not so far away place. All citizenry just carried on and smiled. And, then with preparation incomplete the lives of a husband and wife had become the life of a father and mother.
A life of parenthood full of privilege and responsibility had begun (and still ongoing of course a father’s magnificent obsession). This obsession became public when staying in the father’s waiting room was not going to happen, not when he had waited long enough to see his daughter. She was examined, measured, weighed and tagged all under the watchful eye of her father and the smiles of most of the staff. Maternity staff overlooked visiting hours because he broke all rules and when caught would just sneak back. He did have his charms, creativity, and passions.
Outings were carefully guarded and of course she was allowed only her own things. Outings were complicated but definitely well supervised. Let’s face it, it was like moving.
What a girl needs to know - from a father with love
There was so much responsibility ahead for this new father and no one knew better than he that time can be a thief. Dancing became first and foremost as she was rocked and swayed around room to room, songs needed to be learned (- there was his cadence song - She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, Waltzing Matilda, the Air Force Song, My Eyes Have Seen The Glory, Chattanooga Choo Choo, In the Mood - not your standard lullabies) and of course rhymes (Mighty Casey, Gunga Din, Fuzzy Wuzzy), and of course there was the standard learning to walk, talk, ride a bike, skate, drive - all these other ordinary tasks of parenthood he allowed contributions from other team members (the rest of the team being the mother, grandmother and grandfather). She did master the other standards (Here’s a Ball for Baby, Itsy Bitsy Spider,etc), learn the hardships of the Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood and love the happy ever afters of Cinderella and Snow White. A well rounded upbringing.
And as the title suggests this so adored little bundle of anticipation survived all this unusual upbringing and adoration. She learned to adore her first prince charming and I would bet the castle she can still recite Mighty Casey and sing and swing (with a smile) Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Oh, of course it was a privilege to be (I think I was) the most normal side of this magnificence and enchantment.
Happy Birthday, Kelly Alyce,
With more to come,
all say YEAH.