Last Saturday, I took Mia to the park. Some boys were playing basketball, and while Mia went up and down the slide, I cast a look at those boys. All tough. Slam dunking the eight foot rim. I was a boy once, but sometimes it's so hard to remember. I used to spend whole days playing, pausing only to eat.
"Look at me!" Mia will yell. I'll turn to her. She's walking up the slide. Did I ever do that? Now she comes back down. Over and over again. My mind hovers between distraction and attentiveness.
"Let's run, Daddy!" And there she goes, running to the other slide, across the empty parking lot. "You'll never catch me, Daddy!" she shouts.
I slow jog after her, saying the lines that she knows I will say. "I will catch you, Mia!" She laughs and runs. I will catch you.