“Mommy? Is daddy going to be my daddy forever?”
My little one whispered those words to me one night as she laid beside me in bed seeking a second round of cuddles. I think based on her own experience she knew that sadly just because someone was your parent (in this case biological) and therefore supposed to be there for you didn’t necessarily mean that they would be.
My initial thought was to immediately answer her question. I wanted to assure her that the man who had been there since she was one years old, who had been there to wipe not only her mother’s tears but hers too, made her “chicken babies” (cornish hens), taught her how to play Candyland, and proudly watched as she began her first day of school and graduated from Kindergarten would always be there for her. I stayed quiet for a moment before deciding that this was a daddy question. Sure I could confidently tell her the very words I thought she needed to hear but I also knew that perhaps it would be more comforting for her to hear it from well, her daddy.
I called for Chris to come to the room letting him know that Jalayla had a question.
“Jalayla wants to know if you are going to be her daddy forever.” I said. I didn’t ask because for me it wasn’t a question. I already knew.
“Forever”, he confidently replied looking at her as assured as ever. He stood for a few seconds before going back to the computer to finish his homework. Meanwhile my heart – melting. For Jalayla that’s all she really needed to hear that night and in her daddy’s words she found comfort.
She buried her face into her pillow for a few moments almost as to hide the huge grin that had graced her face at the same time her daddy had looked into her big brown eyes and said that one word. She then looked up at me and smiled a smile so sweet that it stayed with her until the very moment she fell asleep. Forever I thought resting my head next to hers. Forever.