I was strolling purposely through the house contemplating my role in the world and what I might need to be doing that afternoon about global warming, the flat tax initiative, Green Lantern, alternative energy and youth soccer.
I found myself in the kitchen and was pleased to find my daughter Haley Anne at the counter engaging a piece of technology. Once I realized it was her cell phone, I had an uneasy moment wondering if she might not be hacking into a super computer managed by an emerging shadow government. However, I dismissed that particular thought (but, only for now) when she looked up and froze me with the words:
“Daddy, I have to tell you something”.
Why might those words (potentially) strike fear in a fathers heart?
I swung into action making quick decisions.
I countered with:
“Grab your shoes. You are coming with me. We are going to Publix (food shopping).”
She shrugged, and off we went for high adventure and quick witted reparte.
In the car (bad-ass BMW M6) /1 Haley Anne laid it out for me…
“Emily (her best friend and one of my many adopted daughters) and I have DECIDED that she is going to College of Charleston with me. You might have to pay for that”.
Life is so obvious and simple when you are twelve, and your Daddy is clearly omnipotent.
She went on to say:
“Emily wants to be a Marine Biologist too. She already knew this before we met (she raises her eyes when she adds this part as if to say: ‘don’t bother to challenge me on this Daddy. You are Daddy [and, Racer X], /2 but, we [the collective we that is all wise, bold and fearless twelve year old daughters] are firm on this’). We have it all sorted out. We are going to have an apartment together off campus so we don’t have to bother with a lot of other people in a dorm, and get a Chihuahua and call him Mr. Tinkles“.
She paused for a moment. Not to contemplate my reaction (as if that really mattered); but, to change the radio station.
After a moment, as she considered the tune playing (Bawitdaba by Kid Rock – I am hearing it everywhere), she fixes me with those beautiful, heart-melting brown eyes (a gift to her from her Nana [my own Mother]), she adds:
“You have to live nearby us in case we need you”.
I will stop this Blog post right here. I want to freeze and remember that brief exchange for the rest of my life. It’s classic Haley Anne; silly; and, pivotal.
epilogue: As we walked from the parking lot towards Publics Haley Anne grabbed and held my hand. Then she made me help her find a certain brand of cream for shaving her legs (I don’t think she actually needs to shave her legs just yet. But, that was okay).
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork
1/ The BMW is, in fact, the E63/E64. Top speed, with the inhibitor removed, of 205 MPH (but, not with Haley Anne or other children present).
2/ By now it is likely common knowledge that I am Racer X.