Glimpses of the Girl

Thread #1: I sit on our patio, clacking away on my laptop. The French doors are open giving me a panoramic view of our living room, which sits behind a perfectly framed proscenium for Jordan. It’s a Friday. A little house music back-beats in the background. I look up from the phosphorescent glow of my screen to see Jordan sashay across the floor. She’s not even looking at me. Her head is tilted balletically, arms extended, rhythm coursing. The drop-foot gait accents each step, but she dances across and out of sight. I think she’s headed toward the kitchen. I chuckle a few minutes later when she dances across the other way. She’s off stage when the acknowledgment comes … “well, hello, Dad.”

Thread #2: It’s early morning and I’m again clacking away on my laptop answering emails. The sun hasn’t peaked out yet. I get on the phone and call an east coast colleague to discuss something too irrelevant to remember. Mid-sentence, I look up across the kitchen to see Jordan slinking into view in her flannel pajamas, hair mussed, cheeks pink. She rubs her eyes and fixes me in her survey of the room. I put my finger to my lips to remind her that Daddy’s on a call. She leans against the door frame like some 1940’s ingénue. She waits patiently – takes a moment to rifle through the pantry – then stands on the fringes. When I hang up, the most beautiful phrase greets me. “Well, hello, Dad.”

Thread #3: I sit in the family room pecking away on my laptop (sensing a theme?) I hear the heavy footsteps of the girl but keep my head down. She bursts into the room right past me, sights focused on our fluffy cat. We sometimes refer to Charlie as Jordan’s little brother. She pounces on him. He runs for cover. She torments. “Charlie, you know you want a big hug.” He’s already in another room. She rolls over and wiggles on the carpet. Without looking at me, “well, hello, Dad.”