“Look! There they are!” I shouted to my dad. Hopping up and down I pointed at a group of fish swimming lazily around the middle of the little pond. We cast our lines again right into the middle of them. They ignored our bait and continued their endless circling, oblivious of our attempts to capture them. They were so close that if we’d had a net we could have scooped them up. We’d spent hours chasing those fish around. It hadn’t been a particularly nice day, as far as weather and successful fishing went, but a day spent with my dad made it special. I had become obsessed with fishing since that first time, at nine years old, I’d reeled in the biggest fish, all on my own, at the local fishing pond. But, later, I had cried as they cleaned my fish to fry up for dinner.
For years it had escaped our notice of how alike we were, my dad and I. We are both passionate readers, sharing favorites with each other on a regular basis. I remember sunday nights, laying on the living room floor in front of the TV, we’d watch Star Trek. Sometimes he would try to watch Alien after I went to bed, but as soon as I heard that intro music I was out of bed in a heartbeat, “You’re watching it without me!” I’d say accusingly. He always gave in and let me stay up to watch it too. There are so many movies that the two of us love equally and have to watch whenever they’re on: My Fair Lady, Anne of Green Gables, You’ve Got Mail, Star Wars, Conspiracy Theory, Brave Heart, and one of my all time favorites is Dances With Wolves.
Due to circumstances that are now unimportant we didn’t get to have a normal father/daughter relationship until I was grown with a family of my own. All those years, they got away, just like the fish in that pond. If only I had a net to scoop them up and bring them back to me. Well, I’ve learned it’s never too late and you’re never to old to become daddy’s little girl. Even a grown woman needs a kiss on the head at night before bed. I treasure those moments. Your love makes everything OK again, daddy. I love you.