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Innocence in a Nightie

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My daddy was laughing in the office. I poked my head through the door to see what was so funny. Me, as a four year old, on the screen of his computer, telling him that I loved this movie called ‘the gwife’, known to the general population of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. I had a slight lisp, and a terrible haircut. It was about three in the afternoon, and I was still in my pink nightie. Some kind of sauce surrounded my mouth as my tongue struggled to pronounce ‘s’s.

Innocence in bare feet, tanned skin, and the tangled blond hair of a freshly-awoken toddler. Love in the father who caught me on film. Me, somehow, in the little girl on the screen, talking about our new puppy now.

Flip to the next video, me putting ornaments on the tree. “Remember this, Daddy?” Asked a million times with each ornament pulled from the cardboard box. Somehow those ornaments lasted through ten years, but that little girl didn’t. My daddy laughs again as the little girl on the screen tells him to keep her special ornament away from her brother. I can’t make my daddy laugh like that anymore.

My nightie got too small, I could pronounce ‘The Grinch’, and s. My hair is combed, there is rarely sauce around my lips, and many of the old ornaments have been packed away for new ones. Our puppy has a limited number of heartbeats, and my daddy never films me anymore. Everything changes so quickly. Growing up changes everything.




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