The other day when I dropped off Isaac at camp my car stalled and died in the parking lot. I unloaded Riley, strapped on her backpack, and walked Isaac inside. Then I walked Riley back to the car and called Mike. My first call went to voice mail. He called me back without listening to the message. We got home ok, but today he read the message as transcribed by Google voice: "Hi Dad, this is Riley. My car died in ____ parking lot. Riley and I are stuck."
We were laughing about how one day it will be Riley calling with hopefully minor and rare car trouble. It's something I can easily imagine. Riley and her dad have such a great relationship. Riley woke up cranky from her nap today and in her stomping about she knocked over my music box which had a piece of her Dora car in it. It adapts from baby to toddler and this was a foot petal we took off awhile back. She informed me it was broken. I told her it was supposed to come off, but she was really upset. I asked Mike to help explain so he retrieved the Dora car from the yard to show her. After explaining that part was for babies and she was a big girl, she was not satisfied. He proceeded to get his screwdriver and reattach it explaining every step of the process to his captive audience. In the end she was appeased and very excited. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful person to co-parent with.
I've been planning a wedding and I keep thinking that one day I'll do this with Riley. Michael will walk her down the aisle aglow with pride and holding back tears. He'll lift her veil and kiss her sweetly and she'll thank her for a lifetime of being an amazing dad with her broad smile. Later they'll dance to Take Good Care of My Baby while cameras flash. Yes, I know I shouldn't decide their song before kindergarten, but I see it so clearly.
She's going to be a beautiful bride someday. She'll shine like the sun. The more I thought about Riley growing up and having such a great relationship with her Dad the more I wanted to watch Father of the Bride. I cried like a baby. I no longer laughed at the reactions of the parents without context or emotion. Now I felt every joyful, sad emotion of letting your baby go start her own family.
I'm so glad we have 9 and 17 years respectively until these chicks leave the next. They're going to do amazing things. I just hope they marry people who know how wonderful they are.