For the Pride of a Father

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A little girl.

Innocent and full of anticipation.

Can’t wait to start something new

And maybe find a passion.


Her little hands grasp the giant ball

As she throws it with all her might

Yet, the rim is still so distant.

But it doesn’t matter.

 

A little girl tugs on her dad’s shirt.

Please father, she says, sign me up

And let me play,

I think I love this game, and I’m getting better.

 

Years of fun have passed.

The little girl inside still exists

But is ever so distant,

Disconnected from this big girl.

 

Years and years

Months and months

Weeks and weeks have passed

Days and days have passed

 

Where the little girl has seen the look of disappointment

Feign across her father’s face once too many times.

Too many missed chances, too many mishaps

Even an Emmy-winning denial can’t persuade this big girl.

 

A now big girl tugs on her dad’s heart.

Please, father, she says, don’t make me play.

I used to love this game,

But now I don’t know anymore.

 

Yet, the girl holds on.

She continues to work hard.

She continues to play.

But for what reason.

 

Is it for that little girl

That still has a chance of existing.

Or even the glimmer of hope

That she once loved the game

 

But now she’s not sure.

Not sure if the skinned knees and bruised elbows

Are worth the scars across her heart.

Worth the pain of a game she used to love so much.

 

She loves this game so much.

She knows she does. Or did.

Nothing and no one can change that

Even though it’s so hard to see sometimes.

 

A father loves his daughter

And takes pride in his daughter

More than any other person on earth

No matter what the circumstances.

 

But the image of alleged disappointment is hard to efface.

Everyday it’s easy to say

I’m just frustrated in myself.

I’m fine.

 

I would be fine if I messed up.

It’s disappointing my father that scares me.

Watching him watch ten years of sacrifice and money

Go down the tubes

 

Everyday it’s easy to just think

Of maybe quitting

 Because of all the pain this game has caused

Physically and emotionally.

 

 

But in reality, the pain is much deeper.

The pain is trying too hard

Too hard to not disappoint

To make your daddy proud, even if he is already.

 

And quitting would just make it worse.

And it would give my father a real reason to be disappointed.

It would really be watching 10 years

 down the drain, and for what reason?

 

Looking back it’s all worth it.

The blood the bruises the scars.

All worth it to see my daddy

Smiling proud at his little girl.

 

And knowing why I play.

For the love of the game,

And most importantly,

The pride of a father. 

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