Talkin’ ‘bout my girl

She was 2 years old and out of the corner of my eye I saw her pick up something off the floor and put it in her mouth. I immediately stuck in my finger to retrieve whatever it was and she immediately clamped down. I knew she had teeth but I had no idea she had such a powerful jaw.
She knew what she was doing too. As I calmly asked her to release me, she just as calmly continued to bite down. She knew she was hurting me, but there was no malice in her actions. She was just proving a point.
The message was clear. She knew she had power.
At about 3 she made up a song. It was called “Daddy Da.” Those two words were the only lyrics. She’d sing “Daddy Da” over and over. And over. It should have been annoying but it was music to my ears.
At about 4 she now had a baby brother. Her mom worked late and it was my job to get both of them ready for bed. Greta was first. I’d have her in her jammies, robe and slippers before I tended to her little brother. I’d also have her nightly ice cream sundae on the counter. She dutifully waited for my signal. We dared not let the little guy see that sundae. At the right moment, I’d give her a wink and she’d grab her ice cream and dash off to the family room to enjoy it unseen.
She went to day camp at the Pittston YMCA that summer. She was a year too young but they let her in anyway. I’d pick her up afterwards. There’d be a single drop of water at the end of her blonde braid, a braid I had struggled to create that morning. I’d get her a grape soda from the vending machine.
Her only goal during those years was to grow up and marry me. I saw no reason to contradict her.
That little girl will turn 37 tomorrow, June 6. She lives in Austin, Texas, and has a loving husband, a darling 3-year-old son and a baby on the way.
There’s a line in the Kris Kristofferson song “Me and Bobby McGee” that says, “I’d trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday.” That’s a preposterous suggestion. Except maybe when you’re sipping a morning coffee and remembering your baby girl on the eve of her 37th birthday.

Ed Ackerman