What will she remember?

Sending my oldest daughter off to college proved to be much more emotional than I had ever imagined.  She was well prepared, and very forward looking, so there really was no worry about what was to come.  The trouble I had was that I was overwhelmed with worry about what I hadn’t done for her yet.  I wrote this poem in the middle of the night, tears streaming down my face, about 1 week before she left for college.  It proved to be very cathartic.  I hope you enjoy.

What will she remember?

Will she remember
From day to day
How much fun we had
When we would play?

We’d dress up together,
And sell toys at our store
Next we’d have a snack
and then play a lego war

Will she remember
from time to time
how it felt when
her child’s heart was still mine?

How we’d dance together
Without a care
And then she’d “help” me
By doing my hair

Will she remember
On the days of her birth
All those special moments
And what they were worth?

The chases and tackles
And tickles galore
The giggles and hugs
And then doing it some more

Will she remember
Our own special way
of finding our happiness
on an ordinary day

Bubbles at bathtime
Or a pretend horsey ride
Hollering “Fi Fie Fo Fum “
while she’d run and hide

Will she remember
On some occasional morning
Waking up to my voice
As I say something corny?

The songs that I’d make up
Just for her to hear
Or “daddy loves you”
whispered gently in her ear

Will she remember
As she goes to bed
How I’d help her
Easily rest her head

Warm, soft caresses
And a story mama said
But “buck bellies” and giggle
Is what we would do instead

Will she remember
When she feels all alone
The comfort of her daddy
The meaning of “home”?

How I gazed at her in awe
As I held her tight
And gently rocked her through
So many an early night

Will she remember
When she gets scared
All that I’ve done
To get her prepared?

Standing up for herself
And fighting for others
Sometimes just snuggling
Deep in the covers

Will she remember
When she finally meets him
That I gave her my best
again and again

Not the mistakes
Or the times I said “no”
But how hard I tried
To help her grow

What will she remember
When she thinks of me?

I can’t help but wonder
but I hope it will be
How much I love her
And how endlessly

–  Jason Himmel