My dad was away a lot when I was little and when he was at home there were other people to talk to and things to do. But once or twice a year he would take me to for daddy-daughter dates to Maplewood farm. I have vague memories of petting goats and smelling hay mixed with manure and mostly spending quality time with my dad. After the farm we went to our friend Lucy Smith’s house for a scrabble game. She usually had tea and cookies ready too. I remember her snow white her and her incredibly neat writing tallying up the scrabble scores. Dad tried to hide his frustration when she won.
I don’t recall when we stopped going to the farm. Maybe I thought I was too old for such outings and started dreaming about time with a boyfriend instead of my dad.
Today, I went back to the farm with my daughter about 30 years later. It was hard to cough up $14 for the two of us but it was worth it to see the smile on Elaina’s face and picture myself as that little girl a few decades ago.
When Elaina was a baby and I was in the trenches of sleep deprivation people would annoy me by saying “enjoy this time! It goes so fast!” But now I think I am starting to get it.
I love spending time with my dad now but I am not that little girl anymore with giggles of delight and awe. I came close though when I pet the horses. Oh how I longed to jump on one of them and canter around the coral. And how amazing it was to feel the soft wool of sheep and marvel at all the clothes that are made with the fluffy fibres. Children bring us that fleeting invitation to delight in simple things. I wouldn’t have come to the farm without Elaina. Now we’re planning our next visit, hopefully with my dad.