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Adapted – On the Eve of 4

I was asked to contribute to a series of readings on fathers. So, I read this adaptation. For me, it captures a little of what being a father means: to love, to be there, to wish for more time…

My son:

Tomorrow, you turn four years old… and I can’t believe where the time has gone.

Do you remember? Can you possibly know. That bitter-cold afternoon. The day you were born.

You’ve been in such a hurry since you were born. Trying as hard as you could to push through your birthdays. Minutes become hours, hours become days, days become months…

But… For me. It still seems just like yesterday. You were small enough to fit in my hand. That cold February afternoon.

Now, on the eve of your 4th year, you fit from my waist to my shoulders. Your legs dangle down. And, I want to push back all these years. They’ve just come too fast.

I love that you talk to me. We play chase and talk about saving the world. You do all the things a boy who-is-not-quite-4 should do.

But, I long for that newborn boy. The little one that fit, cradled in my arms. Late at night. I tried to chase your hiccups away in the early pre-dawn chill.

4 years have, for me, moved at light speed. I’m afraid to blink. In those brief seconds, you’ll suddenly be 8, 12, 16… too fast.

I know… time waits for no one. Not even me. A loving father who wishes it would stall. Even teleport back to that ultra-cold.

It’s the natural order of things, right? And, I do so love watching you. Grow each minute. Every day.

When I write 4 years from now… I’ll say how these years, too, have flown by. Intermingled with freezing cold; punctuated by revelations — like flashes of lightening.

But, I hope that you know — now and 4 years or a lifetime hence — how much I love you. How I always will…

I’m so proud of everything you are. At awe of the person you will become.

And, for me, no one is equal to you or your brother.


If you’re listening Father Time. Please lend me one more day of 3. If that’s just not possible, I’ll hold you fast. By force of will, I’ll stave off the dawning of that one more day, before 4. I’ll rock you to that blissful sleep. Just one more time, as the midnight chill creeps on.


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