Jon and I have a weekly breakfast date Saturday mornings at the Antrim Truck Stop where we go over the past week and talk about the upcoming one and enjoy a couple of hours of uninterrupted time just for us. The company is always good, the breakfast is the best and the service is pretty good too so we always leave a little more relaxed than we were when we arrived.
One morning in late winter I noticed a young father and his young daughter in a booth across from ours and they held my attention. My initial thought was that it was a Dad enjoying ‘his’ weekend with his daughter and I couldn’t help but notice their interaction. The dad looked to be about 25 or 26 and the daughter about 4. The connection between them was tangible. Dad was so very clearly interested in everything his little girl had to say. With rapt attention he listened to her and in subtle ways encouraged her to eat her breakfast. She chattered on as little people do with excited and animated words and movements. She was certainly enjoying her father’s attention and any observer could tell that she was used to having it. She was a much loved daughter who knew it and relished it. There was no rushing or cell phone, there were no raised voices or cranky words; there was only patience and love. When their breakfast was done Dad helped her into her long winter coat and gently eased her long hair from the back and smoothed it down before he plopped her toque on top of her head. She let out a little giggle, reached for her Dad’s hand and with them smiling at each other they left the restaurant. I sat there a little stunned and more than a little moved. I had tears running down my cheeks from the obvious love and affection between them. I feel blessed to have seen such a simple touching moment between a father and his little girl.
This little girl is going to grow up knowing without a doubt that she’s worthy of love and attention. Her father has gifted her with everything a little girl needs to grow into a confident and healthy young woman and maybe eventually a parent herself.
I lost my Dad only a few months ago and every Saturday when we’re out for our breakfast date I think of the young dad with his young daughter and it makes me sad to realize that there can be no more touching moments or conversations with my Dad, no more breakfasts or glasses of wine together; just memories good and not so good; both of which I know I’ll cherish forever. But I have to believe I’m still my Daddy’s little girl.