Dear Tattered Angel,
Winter has loosened its grip on your world for a short period of time creating a small window filled with warmth and sunshine. The changing of seasons from winter to spring brings with it a new vigor of life.The gentle breezes wrapping around your skin carry a slight chill in their breath as they pass by. New life appears to be injecting into the environment as the birds awaken the morning with their cheerful songs. It is as if mother nature is inviting all to join her to bask in all of god's creations.
Your love of nature rises to the forefront whenever dad mentions he is going outside. Your angelic voice resonates through our home if a potential change of location is discovered by your listening ear. This Saturday was no exception. Your mother and I prepared our bike chariot insuring your ride would be in comfort. Checking the tire pressure, gathering the helmets, and placing a layer of soft flannel blankets was all that was necessary to ready ourselves to begin our sunny day excursion. Carrying you tightly across my chest with one arm centered across your small shoulders and the other arm placed between your legs cradling you tight to keep your combined weight close to my body. I escorted you to your chariot and carefully laid you down on the flannel blankets and buckled you in. Your excitement was obvious as you squealed and giggled confirming with eyes locked to mine, "daddy, we go outside....On a bike ride". I smiled as I climbed on my mountain bike pushing off leading your brother, sister, and her friend on a ride that would link a number of parks, pass through a concrete tunnel, and circle a frozen pond where to two boys set fishing through the ice.
Passing through the concrete tunnel that traveled under a busy road we each took our turn yelling out, "echo...echo" The sound of our voices filled the tunnel as our calls reflected returning to our ears. Approaching the first park your sister peddled to ride along my side requesting, "dad, can we stop and play?" We stopped along the short concrete wall used to retain the golden wood chips that covered the ground under the playground equipment. Your sister and brother were gone in the blink of an eye swinging on the monkey bars, climbing the plastic rock wall, and returning to the ground down a curvy metal slide. You would not be left to sit idly by to only observe as your brother and sister played. Your request was simple, "daddy, I play." Elevating you from the chariot, walking across the yellowed wood chips, up the metal stairs to the top of the slide, I sat cautiously down, placing you on my lap preparing you by calling aloud, "ready.....set.....go." Turning as we slid down the slide, your laughter filled the air. As my feet touch the bottom no time was lost as you would call beckoning to me, "again, daddy again." Repeating the same path over and over to the top of the stairs, cautiously setting down and calling aloud, "ready....set...." You interrupted, "Go daddy, go" This pattern repeated until your weight began to push my limits to climb the stairs. We packed up, beginning our return journey home as your soft tears where carried on the words, "daddy, I slide." Leaving was not an option in your mind. Days had passed that have restricted you to a basement living room with familiar movies, aging toys, and restrictive chairs. This playground had offered you the chance to explore to be normal once more.
Sometimes in the simplest of outings the greatest memories are created. All to often in our lives we pass on the opportunity to create a precious memorable moment in the quest for something grander. The course of someones life is quite often altered in the dancing flames of a campfire combined with the heart felt talk with a father.