A lachrymose start to my day. Was just getting out of the shower this morning when I heard a tiny knock at my door. Throwing on my bathrobe, I ran to answer, discovering my nine year old neighbor (a friend of my daughters), holding out a little envelope to me.
"This is for you, for Father's Day," she said, pedaling off on her bike after I took it from her.
"Ohhhh... thank you so much, sweetie!" I called out to her as she rode away, looking back to make sure I had the gift in my hand.
After closing the door, I looked at the envelope, "from Dani" and "To: Jim" written on the back in a tenuous, second-grader scrawl. Opening it, a carefully folded sheet of stationery, the same scrawl reading:
"To: Jim From: Dani," underlined and then, printed below, "happy Father Day I wish you have a fun Father Day Jim your nice and funny." Beneath it all, a smiley face drawn, speaking of the breadth and width of a nine year old's heart.
I cried. Not in that in neurotic, maudlin Glenn Beck way but with a genuine flood of emotion. Missing my children, of course, but mostly touched by the fact that my little neighbor remembered that my kids were 200 miles away and that I was alone today.
It's just after 3 P.M. and it's already beer-thirty for me. Hammering out this week's column, a piece on building a house and a Lego-like approach to my novel, I am incapable of drawing upon even a scintilla of snark or cynicism -- it escapes me.
The bittersweet atmosphere made sweeter and less bitter by the light tap at my door this morning.
Thank you, Dani, more than you know.