Horrible. Disastrous. If it could go wrong, it did. That was my weekend about two weeks ago. One of my youngest daughters was just being difficult, constantly requiring my wife and I take turns with her at nap time and bed time. Quite simply, Sydney just would not let us leave the room. When we said something, she would repeat it and repeat it and repeat until we said it again. But, by us saying it again, she started over. There was no way to get her to stop. I have absolutely no idea what happened that week to cause that to happen, but it was extremely frustrating.
Enter this past weekend and everything has made a complete turnaround. It was a fun, enjoyable time with all my girls. But, after having such a bad taste in my mouth from the week prior, I really needed to know that I was still a good dad to Sydney. All those questions disappeared on Saturday afternoon. About 45 minutes after Ashley and Sydney went down for a nap, Sydney woke up crying. My wife brought her down to the family room and Sydney just sat on the loveseat. Her eyes were half closed and she was grumpy. Now, I’m sure you are wondering how this story changes to one worthy of the title of this post.
As I am laying on the couch watching football for what feels like one of the first time in ages (since all my kids are ages 5 or under) Sydney got up off of the loveseat and came over to me. She then does something she has not done since she was about one year old. With her milk in one hand and a princess doll in the other, Sydney comes over and grabs onto me and pulls herself up on top of me, stretching out her little body. After moving around for a few minutes, my youngest girl (by about 30 seconds) falls asleep on me for about 45 minutes.
These few minutes seem to last an entire afternoon! Her willingness to cuddle on top of me, when she wasn’t sick, and just want to sleep filled me with happiness. You need to understand that none of three daughters were real cuddly children who would fall asleep on you after they were out of the baby stage. I have only two other memories of my girls being that cuddly and both involve my oldest, Emily. One of those times she had pneumonia. The other was in the backyard of my Uncle Jack’s place when his daughter, Rebecca, got married. I remember sitting outside, whispering with Emily falling asleep on my shoulder and Jack saying, “Isn’t that the best feeling in the world?” Sure, that was a question has asked. But, we both knew it was more of a statement.
So, when Sydney fell asleep on me five days ago, I again experienced the best feeling in the world…the contentment that only the unconditional love of a father for his daughter and a daughter for her father can give.