Tag Archives: daddy

Days With Daddy


This post was written for The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge, based on this image:

Mom pulls up to the rusty yellow carousel outside the convenience store and lets her get out of the car to wait.  She leaves her backpack in the trunk for now.  Today is her favorite day of the week, but not only because it’s Friday – because she gets to see her daddy today.  She always knows when it’s Friday because she gets to ride the frog with the silly hat and the giraffe and the tiger with the pointy tail while she waits for him.

But today she doesn’t really feel like spinning on the funny circus animals.  She just wants to see her dad.  She wishes he would hurry up and get there already.  She always has to wait for him.  He works too much, she thinks, as she waits eagerly on the edge of the carousel.  Her hands grip the peeling paint of the ride as she begins to count.

Counting the seconds becomes more difficult for her once she reaches fifty, so she starts to hum her favorite song instead.  Maybe he’ll get there before she finishes the song.  Not quite.  As she finishes her second time through, she finally gives in and climbs on the frog with the silly hat.

As the animals begin to turn, she allows herself to get lost in the memories of her mom and daddy when they still loved each other.  Every Saturday, they would walk, swinging her between them, to the park, where she would ride a carousel almost just like this one.  She would giggle and giggle as daddy pushed her around and around, all the blues and yellows and reds mixing into a single swoosh of purple.

During these last several Saturdays, though, mommy hasn’t been there to watch daddy push her.  Instead, daddy meets them at the rusty yellow carousel at the convenience store and picks her up to spend the weekend with him at his new house.  The little one with the old shaggy green carpet.  Her room there doesn’t have her pretty pink pillows with the yellow lace around the outside.  She misses her pillows.

She continues to spin, now on the bunny with the big red ears, as she thinks about all the things she misses when she is at daddy’s.  She misses her teddy bears and her doll babies and her mommy.  She misses her mommy the most when she is at daddy’s on the weekends.

Her memories blur, mixing with her tears and the spinning landscape around her, as she hears his car pull up.  She hears her mom open the trunk to get her purple backpack out.  She knows it’s time to get off the carousel and start her weekend with daddy.  She starts to cry harder, but she can’t figure out why.  She loves her daddy more than anyone in the world.

Why in the world is she crying when it’s finally time to go have fun with him for the weekend?  For two whole days, she would get to stay up late, eat as much ice cream as her tummy can handle, and spin around and around on the carousel at the park.  Why was she so sad?

That’s when she looks up and sees mommy with her arms out, ready for a hug.  Mommy!  She would miss her mom!  She wishes and wishes she could come, too.  She wants so badly for mommy and daddy to walk her to the park again and to put her on the pink elephant and push her into complete dizziness.

Why don’t they love each other anymore?  Is it her fault?  Was she a bad girl?  Was it something she did?  As mommy buckles her in daddy’s car and gives her a big kiss on her cheek, she is afraid she may never know.


A Girl’s First Love


She stared out the window, hoping to see his headlights.  But all she saw was darkness.

She replayed the argument he had with her mom in her head.  Although it took place days before, she had it memorized – branded in her heart.

She could remember how her mom was barely understandable because she couldn’t catch her breath through her sobs.  She could still hear him yelling.  She wasn’t good enough.  She wasn’t pretty anymore.

Certainly she didn’t hear that last part correctly.  Her mom was beautiful, with silky chestnut hair and one strand that she always tucked behind her ear.  Even when it was already there.

As she looked at the swaying trees through her window, she jumped as she remembered hearing the door slam.  I don’t love you anymore.  I’m leaving. 

She remembered waiting to hear the door open again.  To hear him say he was sorry for yelling, like he usually did.  Instead, all she heard that night was Mom crying.  She wanted to go to her, but wasn’t sure what to say.

What if Mom wouldn’t forgive her for being a selfish brat, always worried only about herself?

Scared that Mom would hate her and he would never come back, she picked up her favorite bear from inside the box in her closet.  The one with the eye that was hanging on only by a thread.

It’d been so long since she’d pulled it out of the box.  As she rubbed its nose, she closed her eyes and remembered the day he brought him home to her.  She’d been in third grade.  She’d just gotten off the bus when he surprised her with it.  She slept with him until his seams began unraveling.  Little did she know then, that it was the perfect metaphor for her life.

She still had her eyes closed, trapped in 1988, when she heard a car coming.  She opened her eyes immediately and saw the glow of lights through the trees.  He’s back!  I knew he’d come back!

But then the lights disappeared.  The car must’ve turned onto another street.  More darkness.

She wondered what her mom was doing downstairs.  Like that fateful night, she thought about going down to her, talking to her.  But she remembered the argument they had just this morning.  Mom was worried about her.  Only she didn’t just tell her mom not to worry, that she was worried for nothing.  No.  Instead, she yelled at her and told her to mind her own business.  She didn’t need to worry.  What did she know about her anyway?  She couldn’t even keep her marriage together.  Why was she worrying about her daughter who she knew nothing about?

She sighed.  Why was she blaming Mom for his leaving?  Nothing she did would have ever been enough to keep a man around who was already insistent upon leaving.

Why was it that she missed him so much it hurt, but when it came to Mom, who really was the only one she could always count on, she was still a conniving little witch?  As much as she hated to admit it, she had always wanted nothing more than to be his little girl.

Now she wanted nothing more than to believe that it was Mom’s fault that he left.  But she knew better.

And she also knew deep down that he was never coming back.

Oh, how she wished that he would realize the truth, too.  She wished with all of her aching heart that he would see what she really needed:

Her Daddy.

Source: we heart it

Source: we heart it


Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as s/he finishes the book.” ~ Roald Dahl, WD

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