“H-. I just put your clothes out on the bed and so go upstairs and change while I put your cereal in a bag. I remembered we need to get going fast this morning,” he ordered as he jogged down the flight of stairs, himself still needing a change of clothes before stepping outside.
“Okay daddy,” said H-. She was nearly off the chair before she must’ve felt discipline’s heat and asked, “Please may I be excused?”
“Ha. Of course, H-. Get going.”
Dawdling as only a little girl can, H-‘s footpath revealed that she nearly forgot that her mission was to climb up the stairs and change into the clothes her father had put out. One glimpse of her father’s unmoving face refocused her promptly. The creaky stairs and second floor told him that she made it into the room.
“Oh. My. Goodness,” he heard her deliver with stunning maturity.
Interested in what could possibly be the reason for the disbelief she felt, he listened intently for the coming explanation.
“There’s no tag on my underwear!” she said.
He rounded the front hallway arriving at the bottom of the stairs only to look up and see two four-year-old arms holding out a pair of underwear at the top of the stairs. These arms were attached to a face whose eyes and smile sought confirmation that, more than unbelievable, this unprecedented silly situation required adult intervention. With no small amount of labor he climbed towards her, laughing.
“Can’t tell which is the back, eh?” he asked.
“No, I cannot,” she said definitively.
As he gave her a few tips for putting tag-less underwear on correctly, his mind couldn’t help but wander. A solitary sadness always led its journey, the sadness of knowing that her innocence is going to end some day. But this sadness was quickly washed away with the realization that it wasn’t going to end today. Not today. Not yet.