Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Watching

From the deck I had a great view of the long sloping lawn, on the lawn played the children. Merry, Marianna, Abbey and a boy named Joe. The children were unaware of the middle aged man on the deck watching their every move.

I watched a power struggle develop and get resolved from my perch on the deck. Merry and Marianna had opposing ideas for Joe and his time and neither was ready to back down. Merry wanted Joe to pretend he was her sister and Marianna wanted Joe to be her husband and Abbey's dad.

Marianna forced her way between Merry and Joe and insisted that he follow her and Abbey down the hill. Merry was left alone for a minute, standing there looking sad. As her father I was moved, I wanted to help, but I also wanted to see how Merry was going to handle it. I kept my mouth shut and continued to watch.

Joe did not look at all comfortable with the situation he was in. A look of relief came over him when he realized Merry was not going to allow these two girls to take him away. Merry ran down the hill after them, there were words I did not hear and then Merry and Joe walked up the hill hand in hand, pretend brother and sister reunited.

Marianna and Abbey followed and fell into line, some sort of pretend family play ensued and I went back to my drink. Later I was joined on the deck by Joe's God Father and as I was telling him the story we heard Joe say to my daughter "come on Merry I want to be alone with you" . This filled me with anxiety and made my friend beam with pride.

The two 5 year olds walked off to the side of the house, sat down on the patio and talked about who knows what. I realized I am no longer in charge or in control of my little girls life, she is out there every day having these same types of interactions and I was simply lucky enough to find myself in a position to observe. I am grateful for it.

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