The Father

There she is, her golden hair covers her face as she flies on the swing set, her tiny hands grasp the old chains of the swing as the structure creaks under the delight of thousands of children that have swung on it over the years. She’s giggling, pure joy radiates from her innocent face as she stops herself, jumping off the swing before its movement halts completely. As she sticks the landing, her grin widens with pride over her seemingly daredevil stunt and her eyes glitter with mischief of new adventure. As she runs toward the merry-go-round he steps through the gate of the playground, searching for his precious jewel in the sea of gems. At last his eyes land upon her. She runs and gasps for breath as she tirelessly pushes her friends around in circles, her hair becoming sticky with sweat from her dedication to share happiness with those around her. He stands off to the side and smiles tenderly at the sight of his beloved daughter and as she gives her friends one last push, he calls her name gently, softly, and then he waits. As her name reaches her ears, she stops and turns, to her left and then her right, searching the crowd of big and small people for the one she recognizes. As she hears it again, she spins around, and her face brightens as she finds the affectionate face of her father watching over her from the crowd. Without a look back at her adventures and friends, she scrambles towards her dad, dodging around different children and their parents, never releasing her gaze from his warm face. At last she appears before him halting in front of his legs, her head barely reaching above his knees and she looks up into that face that loves her so well. A large, calloused hand reaches down, engulfing her own and they start to walk away together, back home, where they’ll eat dinner and play hid-and-seek until he tucks her into bed, weaving together fantastic stories of far off journeys and long lost treasures as she slips into a dream-world of fairytales and heroes.

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