The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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This is a story told by my grandma about the special times she bonded with her father. It’s these little moments that really stick with her to this day. Her younger brother didn’t experience it quite the same as her.

Wham! And there goes Johnson. One… two… three… ding-ding-ding!

“Daddy, what are you watching?”, I came out of my room.

“Lila, I’m watching the boxing match. The first round just ended. Want to join me?”

“Sure! I’ll be done in a moment!”

I had never seen or listened to a boxing match so I didn’t know what to expect, but the loud sounds drew me in and made me wonder what programs my Dad watched after work. I wondered what it was like to be an adult and how they had fun.

I ran down the stairs, eager to see what Dad was watching…

“Come sit next to me on the couch, I left you a seat.”

The couch was comfy and felt massive to me. I felt an ant climbing a mountain, feet too short to touch the ground.

“Dad, so what’s going on?”

“Well, in the first round there were two guys named Johnson and Smith who fought. Johnson got knocked on in the first round, but it was lopsided.”

“Oooh, cool! Hey Dad, the commercials are over!”

Alright ladies and gentlemen, last time Johnson was 0-1 to Smith in the match for best boxer. Johnson seems to have recovered and looks ready to fight. In the other corner Smith looks ready as before.

The men on the television screen looked really strong with their red gloves and the sweat that glistened on their forehead. Both were standing at opposite corners, until Johnson threw the first sucker punch.

“Oh, my goodness Daddy, that was close! What happens if Johnson wins this round?”

“They’ll go into another round to end the tie. Lila, go and watch! See how both men are fast enough to miss each other? They do that by practicing.”

“Practicing? What’s that?”

“It’s when someone works really hard at doing something to improve. Musicians do it. Athletes do it and so can you!”

“Is that why your business is doing well? You, practiced?”

“Yes, my dear. By working hard and looking at times you failed, you can learn from your mistakes.”

“OK, Daddy. I promise to practice hard so I can be good like the boxers are!”

“if you can believe and work hard towards that dream, it will come true! I believe in you! You’re my special little girl.”

“I love you, Daddy.”

“I love you too, my precious princess.”

—————

And so that’s how I learned to believe and work hard. It was these special moments with my Dad that kept us close. If I worked hard—practiced, I could achieve anything I wanted. Even with bumps along the way, I could recognize what I needed to practice to overcome my challenges. “Daddy taught me how to believe.”

Father & Daughter

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