I know you’re used to playing second fiddle. Waiting in the shadows while mama and I do our special dance. Seeing my angry disappointment after I cry out in the dark for her only and you tiptoe in to stroke my hair, helping my body relax into sleep again. But dada, my world wouldn’t exist without you.
When you walk out the door in the morning time stops until you step back in. The day happens; the clock keeps ticking but something inside me doesn’t budge from my sad place in front of the door. I play, sleep, jump, eat, explore, but part of who I am is frozen. Empty. Wanting the highest up I know. Wishing you were spinning me in circles scaring mama as we both laugh our crazy laugh.
Sometimes I’m naughty. My hands hit. Screams. I break things. And you keep coming home.
I throw food across the room. Spill yogurt on your toys. Draw on your favorite papers. Do bad smelling things in the bath. And you keep coming home.
I push away from your chest and twist my body towards mama, mama only, mama up. And you keep coming home.
You keep choosing me.
During the day my mind sends you messages. Pictures of us wrestling, building towers, laughing, all to pull you back to me. Do you see them? Don’t forget about me. I know your work is big but don’t forget about me please.
Sometimes I get so scared as I stare out the window in the long afternoons hoping each car speeding past our street is yours, imagining you never coming back. Finding a new baby who listens.
I must be very special. I must be good if you want to play with me.
Even when I’m big, I’ll remember that you kept coming home and that’s something no one can take away.
You’re my favorite daddy. I’ll always wait for you.