What I Know

Here’s all I’ve ever known, what I know now, and all I will ever need to know:

moms teach their daughters that it is okay to enjoy a shower, even pee in the shower, but only with her. Until they are two too big to fit in the shower together. Then the daughter will have learned how to take care of herself, her body, her mind. And the mother can relax and enjoy the shower to herself again, knowing that she has done the very best she could.

And dads. Dads need to sit their daughter on the side of the tub after she’s just come in from soccer practice, ballet, playing tennis, digging in the dirt. And they tell her it’s okay; she can leave her clothes on because he is just going to clean her feet. And do he cleans her feet and he asks her how she is. He asks her daughter about who she is and what she likes and dislikes. And he just listens and keeps asking questions. And then, when her feet are all clean and the dirt and sand and rocks have drained back to the earth and the sea he tells her, “everything is okay sweetie. I’m right here for you and I love you just because you are you.”

And then he carries her to bed (or she walks if her dad cannot carry her or even if he cannot be there in the flesh). Every girl has a father. Every girl has a mother.

We all have each other. Aloha and Mahalo. I am so glad you are all here with me. And that I can be with you forever.

Now I rest. (Just closing my eyes until we have wrapped back around to the sun’s bright light and I open my eyes then). Isabel Grace Stapko taught me that this week here in Hawaii. We don’t sleep; we just open our eyes and close them.

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