Growing up I always thought to myself that I wanted three boys of my own one day to raise.
I grew up loving sports and fishing so who else to do it better with than three of my own sons I thought. Don’t get me wrong. I love my son. I cherish his every step wrong or wise. Maddux, my son, is the pride in me when he shows all the boy he has in him. The pride swells when I see his good looks and his kind love. But I was wrong about the three boys. Wrong about my thinking. I didn’t have three boys either. I was blessed to have one son and one little girl. There is something about my little girl that made my thoughts disappear about what I wanted. They were washed away the second I held her. And I’m glad. I’m glad my thoughts didn’t turn into my needs. Otherwise, I wouldn’t need Rilee and she wouldn’t need me.
I love it when I have all of Rilee’s attention. I can make her laugh easily and she makes me laugh instantly. I love her beauty, her charm, her smile and her eyes. I love doing what most Dads do about their little girl- that part where she can look at you and smile…she has already won. The part where she says Daddy and it’s already accepted.
My Dad loved my little sister and he even wrote in On Fire about having to possibly whip some punk teenaged kid’s ass one night when she had a first date. He said that as soon as he met him, he would hold him down in the floor and let him know whose girl she was. I often think about that too.
I took the kids this Sunday to an entertainment center in Hattiesburg. When we lived there it was a place we visited often. Since we were in Hattiesburg on a baseball trip one weekend I thought Rilee would appreciate being away from a ball park for a couple of hours so we stopped by to eat and play. The kids begged to run straight to playing but I insisted that we should eat first. They agreed and we ate quickly. Maddux is getting a little older on me now so he asked to leave the table and go alone to the back. I told him that it’d be fine and to have fun, that me and Rilee would see him in a few minutes after we finished eating. We watched the cartoons on the jumbo screen as we ate. She kept her eyes on the TV for a few more minutes and put her plate away. She asked if I was ready to play and I grabbed her hand and walked away.
Rilee and I walked into the arcade and we saw Maddux. We stopped by to say hey and to see how he was doing on winning tickets at a video game he was playing. He continued to play and was happy. Rilee pulled at my my hand to walk away and I did.
I know at the age of seven she is getting older too and her holding daddy’s hand won’t be cool soon. I wanna keep that little hand in my hand forever or for maybe an extra second.
We turn and walk away and she starts jumping up and down about the carousel. I ask her if she wants to ride and she laughs and smiles and thrills with an excited yes. We walk over to get in line and she waits impatiently. The worker on duty is a polite employee and helps Rilee decide her ride. Rilee picks a white horse and climbs up. The carousel starts and I search in my pocket for my phone to take a picture. The carousel slowly brings her back around into my view and I snap a picture. I wave and she waves back. I look down at my phone at the picture and did not like what I had taken. The carousel is taking forever to come back around for me to take another picture. She hasn’t quit smiling or stealing my heart. Rilee gets back around to view and I am happy with the picture I took.
I watch the carousel and Rilee spin slowly around and for a second I wished it would move faster when another thought hits me. This carousel needs to slow down. Not the carousel Rilee is on but the one that she and I ride…
Shane Brown is a HottyToddy.com contributor and the son of noted author Larry Brown. Shane is an Oxford native with Yocona and Tula roots. Shane is a graduate of Mississippi State University and works as a salesman for Best Chance. He has two children — Maddux, age 9, and Rilee, age 7 — and makes his home at “A Place Called Tula.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright Shane Brown, 2015