It was Friday. I hadn’t written all week, and I knew time would quickly slip away and I’d be faced with having to churn out a bunch of scenes on a tight time frame – not to mention that the online course I was teaching would be starting before I knew it. So I sat in front of the computer, ready to continue a bizarre scene I was writing about Humpty Dumpty.
Then a voice called out from the basement: “Daddy, will you come play with me?”
It was Zoe, our two-year-old daughter. I answered quickly, “I would, but I really need to write right now.”
“Okay, daddy. Love you.”
“Love you, too.” And with that, I started typing again.
Until I stopped and listened. Listened to the joyful playing of a two-year-old who wouldn’t always be two. Who wouldn’t always be there, playing in the basement, because she’d be off somewhere else, too busy to play. Who one day will ask me to play with her one last time.
I typed a few more words – and then I stopped. The work could wait. I could always find some other writing time. Maybe I could write instead of checking 25 times to see if anyone bought one of my plays. Or instead of changing the line-up of one my three fantasy teams. Or maybe instead of watching another rerun of Supernatural . . . well, you get the point.
I went down to the basement that Friday, and found that she had set up an elaborate picnic for us in the hopes that I would come down. I sat right down beside her, and we had a most delightful time (despite her highly questionable food and wine pairings). After our picnic was complete, we played some Little People together and then went to the zoo. It was a perfect day.
Well, maybe not a perfect writing day. I wrote around 34 words, which likely meets no known metric for success. But it was a perfect daddy/daughter day, one that I’ll remember when those days are nothing more than a picture in my mind.
I know that, in the future, there will be days when I can’t play with her when she wants me to – and that will be okay. Because sometimes, I’ll have to work. Sometimes I’ll have to get other things done. Sometimes the siren call of something else, whatever it may be, will just be too difficult to deny. But, more often than not, when I hear that little voice from Zoe or Chloe, I know what my response will be.
“Daddy, would you like to play?”
Here it is. Steven's blog, where his thoughts about things are revealed. Good luck.