I laid there, on the floor. Snoring the deeply exaggerated Disney-esque snore of someone who was fake sleeping. With barely the flutter of motion, I peeked through almost closed eyes and watched as my daughter stood above me, chirping questions in that recently recovered yet long forgotten dialect of baby gibberish. Slowly she quieted, and then knelt next to me titling her head. The “Why isn’t my Daddy up chasing me anymore?” question was evident despite the language barrier.
“Baaaaaah!” I yelled, and found her stunned space-alien saucers for eyes looking back at me. Mouth agape.
I grabbed her arms and spun her high above in an elegant display of practiced father-daughter aerobatics. During this flight, I some how reached a loose index finger and wiggled it into an open armpit. Giggles and squeals erupted as if a sound effects board was queued somewhere in the house.
Still lying on my back, I brought her down on my chest, and nose to nose we laughed together. I snuck a quick kiss in before letting her go, watching as she army rolled off my body to quickly form a sprinters stance. Her eyes were beautiful as they held a “Ready, Set, Go” sparkle of anticipation.
Jumping up I then began to chase her, and she yelped again. And for the next 30 minutes we ran and we played until we both collapsed on the floor. She crawled up, rested her head on my shoulder and wrapped her arms around me. I could feel the beating of her heart as it tried to pound its way out of her body and into mine.
“The Doctor said she heard an irregularity” remembering the words that my wife had spoken earlier. “They need to do an endocardiogram to figure out what is going on.”
And so I clung to my daughter and realized that this could be the last moment we played innocently. That tomorrow morning, the Doctor could find something that would change the course of our family. I squeezed her a little tighter and inhaled her sweet baby soap aroma just a little deeper. Trying to freeze the exact moment, in my mind, forever.
That night, as I sang to her while getting ready to place her in her crib, I prayed.
God, if at all possible, let her heart be ok. Let it be the murmuring of a natural body and not the declaration of a failing one.
I laid her down, watching as her eyes fluttered in what would soon be true and deep sleep.
I then whispered. “Just so you know, I’d go broke for you. If there is an issue, we will get it fixed. Nothing else is more important to me than you. Not our cars, our house, or our Money. Just so you know.”
And with only uncertainty to cling to, I left so that she could claim her much needed rest.