For years, Daughter and I have driven to games and practices in four different sports, all year round. And over the years we’ve developed a few routines for our trips. Not all of them have made it this far, and some have changed a little.
For example, we no longer listen to Ed Sheeran’s album +. These days, you’ll be more likely to hear Taylor Swift or any one of the One Direction guys in the car.
But when we get to our destination, we always fist bump each other and I’ll tell her to go get ‘em.
If I’m travelling and can’t get to the game, or if it’s an away game, I’ll text her the fist bump emoticon.
The day Daughter was born was a cold one. We had been to the hospital once earlier, but were told that it had been a false alarm. Daughter wasn’t ready to meet the world yet. When we returned to the hospital a month later, it was way past her due date, so we both, but especially Wife, were more than ready.
She was born at quarter to six on that cold March day. Since she was our second child, we knew a little better what to expect, which is why we had our special CD with special songs on it, to create the perfect mood. We were cool, calm, and collected, and since everything went well, and she was healthy and happy, I drove home later that night, and returned the next day to pick up my two girls.
It was even colder the next day day as we walked out the hospital. It was windy so we had wrapped Daughter inside a fluffy white overall inside a blanket as I carried her in my arms, not lifting my feet on the icy ground on our way to the parking garage.
I can still see her tiny face, with a little bit of cheeks and nose showing from underneath the blankets. And when I put her down on the car seat, I have a vivid memory of her raising her tiny fist for me to bump it.
I may be imagining things. After all, it’s been seventeen years today.
Anyway, it’s funny how certain parts of one’s personality never seem to change. She’s still often a little late, and likes to sleep in whenever she can. However, when awake, she’s always been an active child. She learned to crawl and walk at an early age. Well, maybe not as much “walk” as “run”. She’s always loved all kinds of games from football to darts to hockey to card games, and doing everything with a smile on her face.
I don’t think we have one photo of her in which she isn’t smiling.
* * *
The other day, I dropped Daughter off at the hockey rink. We were late, things were chaotic, and she just grabbed her bag and took off. I sat inside the car, with my right hand extended out, my hand a fist. And sure enough, three steps in, Daughter stopped, turned around, opened the door and bumped my fist.
“Go get ‘em,” I said.
“Will do,” she said with a smile, slammed the car door shut and ran off.
I couldn’t see her face, but she was probably smiling.