I pulled into my son's driveway and shut the truck off and waited. I was early. The engine ticked and pinged as it cooled under a light rain. It had been twenty days since I'd made this drive. When my watch said 0715 I walked to the front door and knocked.
She ran outside and screamed, "Papa." Then jumped into my arms.
She took me by my hand and walked me back to the truck and when inside she began to chant, "Me and Papa, Me and Papa." I smiled. We were back to normal.
"Did Nana say you could come get me."
"Yes, Nana gave me permission. She said it'd be good for me and you."
"Nana's smart, isn't she Papa." Before I could answer (yes) she said, "I get a real breakfast this morning. Papa, I want a breakfast burrito and hash browns, and I want an apple pie too. Okay, Papa."
The rain intensified. She reached and took my hand. Her's was warm and soft. "Little Bit, what have you been eating for breakfast?"
"Yes, Papa, and they don't even warm them." Black thoughts on my mind...
I controlled my anger. It was too nice a morning and I had my Little Bit, and I was happy. Then, "Papa, can you pick me up after school?"
"Not today, Sweetheart. Maybe on Monday." She'd taken a book from her bag and was reading to me. She has a beautiful voice. "Okay, Papa."
After breakfast we're sitting in front of her school. She's in my lap. Then, "Papa are you finished being sick now?"
"Not completely, Honey, but Papa feels better." She smiled and gave me a few butterfly kisses. Then reached into her bag and and took out an envelope. "I made you a Valentine's Day card Papa. I got one for Nana too."
I read her card and thanked her and gave her a kiss. Then, she sat back and put on her waiting face. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I smiled and took her back into my arms. Said, "Honey, Papa hasn't had a chance to buy you a card yet, but I promise, on the way home I will."
Back at me she said, "Papa, it's okay. I know you love me and besides I get to spend Sunday night with you and then Monday too 'cause schools out and you know what?"
"Monday's my birthday."