Slip Sliding Away

By: T.W. Winslow

I'm not the wisest person in the world nor the smartest, but there is one thing I do know - life is forever changing and time stands still for no one. Everyone and everything is in a constant state of flux. What we have one day, may not be there the next. It's important to realize this so we may make the most of what we have at any given moment. To do otherwise risks our never again having the same opportunities or experiences.

I have my daughter to thank for opening my eyes to all of this. At six years old, she's at a wonderful stage in her life (wonderful for me anyway) - where her dad (me), is the greatest thing in the world. In her eyes, I stand at least ten feet tall, am by far the strongest and most handsome man on earth, can leap tall buildings in a single bound, and most likely have the answer to any question ever pondered. All I'm lacking is a red cape on my back and large "S" on my chest.

Every time she sees me, she flashes a smile. She's forever climbing into my arms to give me a quick hug or kiss on the cheek. "I love you Daddy," is something I hear from her more times a day than I can count. Where ever I am, she's there too. Whatever I'm doing, she wants to take part. If there ever was a "Daddy's girl," she's it.

In the recent past I've been busier than normal with work. Long hours and the usual tensions and stress that come with work demands have had me a bit on edge and overly tired. On those occasions when I'd take a break, all I wanted was a little space and a few minutes of peace and quiet. During those times I found myself pushing my daughter away, saying things like "Just give Dad a few minutes alone" or "I just want to relax for a minute, go find something else to do." She'd seemingly take this in stride - not really showing her feelings were hurt or that I had made her sad, even though that's precisely what I had done.

Though my daughter continued to act as she always had - lavishing me with love and attention, undoubtedly, had I continued to push her away, at some point this would have caused a permanent rift between us and may have changed our relationship forever. Fortunately, I realized what I was doing and resolved to make more of an effort to not let my work or the stress of daily life interfere my responsibilities as a husband and father.

As everything is constantly changing, no matter how hard we may try to keep things as they are, I do understand my daughter will eventually wake up to the fact I'm not perfect. In time, "Daddy's girl" as I know her today, will become just another touching memory. She'll soon find much more interesting things than me to occupy her time and attention. There will come a day when she no longer wants to climb into my arms each time she sees me to give me a hug or kiss on the cheek. But each of us will know that for a very special time, she was Daddy's girl, and nothing will ever change that.

These moments and memories are here for the taking, but may well only be offered to us once. It's up to each of us to recognize this and to make room in our hearts and lives to take full advantage of what we have today. For what tomorrow holds is uncertain, and opportunities presented today may forever be lost tomorrow.

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