Before my daughter, Alyssa, was born (more than 25 years ago), I dreamed about what it would be like to have a daughter. My dreams came true in October, 1986 and my life has not been the same since. I can now verify what I heard all those years before she came into my life…about what the love a father has for his daughter is all about.
As I write this, I am sitting at a table across from Alyssa, in one of my favorite coffee shops in Austin, Monkey Nest Organic Coffee & Bakery http://www.monkeynestcoffee.com/ . She is half-way through her program at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (Doctor of Physical Therapy) and is in town for her spring break. Here’s a pic I snapped with my iPhone:
As we talked, I found my mind flashing back through many memorable times in our lives together. Many stories over these 25 years make me smile. Here’s one that I love: One of our first “dates” (just the two of us) was when I took her to see Disney’s The Little Mermaid at the movie theater. She was about three or four years old. She had her own seat next to me, eating popcorn that we shared and enjoying her very own drink. Soon after the movie began, she asked to sit on my lap. I glady obliged and we enjoyed the rest of the movie together this way. Shortly after she sat on my lap, the scene with Ursula, the evil sea witch with a body of an octopus, came on screen:
Alyssa immediately and completely turned around, faced the back of the theater, hugged my neck ever-so-tightly, and whispered in my ear, “Dally, I think I want to go home now!” She couldn’t see the tear and smile on my face as I hugged her said, “The witch will be gone soon, Pumpkin. I’ll let you know when it’s okay to turn around.” She survived the rest of the movie and to this day, the two of us look back on that date as a favorite memory.
So today, as I sit across from this young woman who is studying to be “Dr. O’Krent”, I smile that same smile and have a similar tear in my eye as I know, deep in my heart, how much I love my daughter.