Five: A Dad Reflects on his Daughters Fifth Year of Life.

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Dad Reflections
The other day as I walked with Elliot to school she decided to skip. This is a pretty regular occurrence when we’re walking around: skipping, jumping, swinging from arms and shoulders. I think she does this because she really likes the feeling of freedom as she glides through the air–probably also why she loves gymnastics so much. She leaped into the air, effortlessly. Her curly hair tossing back and forth, side-to-side, her giggles growing louder and louder as they rolled out of her mouth. Her precious smile stretching from ear-to-ear as she implored, “Skip with me papa!” I looked at her and smiled. “Skip with me papa!” she said again, and so I obliged. We skipped hand-in-hand, smiling and laughing down the street without a care in the world. We weren’t unnoticed, however.

As we skipped, a bit carelessly, a bit out of control, a man continued his walk towards us from the other direction: sullen with a sunken face, hunched over shoulders, replete with a disheveled, and vulnerable disposition. I noticed his approach, and so began the process of slowing us down, getting our movements under control, and on to one side of the sidewalk.

As he approached us, this giggling, smiling, skipping little girl and her dad, he stopped, looked at her and said with all the seriousness he could muster, “Never ever lose that joy in your heart. Thank you for reminding me.” He took a deep breath, lifted his shoulders and continued his journey.

This is how my now five-year-old little girl interacts with the world around her. She is a little girl who has the ability to stop people on the sidewalk and remind them of joy. A little girl who can somehow leave a mark on someone’s life in only a moment. A little girl who brings laughter and excitement to the rooms she walks in, and can somehow change the atmosphere wherever she goes. And really, she’s been this way since before she was One.

This is my little girl. And I couldn’t be more proud of the person she is and is becoming. Just a few days ago as we were coloring Star Wars characters (her favorite thing, and the theme of her birthday party this year), and creating new stories and adventure of Princess Leia, Dark Vader (yes she calls him Dark Vader), Hans Solo, and BB-8 (“he’s so cute!” she says), she exclaimed out of nowhere, “PAPA! My heart is so full of love and happiness!”

I know it is my little love, I see it from you and in you all the time, and because of you mine is too.

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