Little Tilly: Daddy, is it over yet? Can we go outside now?
I miss my friends. My classes. I miss my teacher Cindy and the bus driver Roger. I miss having you or mom pick me up from school, and I miss how on Tuesdays we bring pizza home. I miss my dance lessons on Saturdays and I miss playing in the neighbor's yard with their dog Sumo. I miss missing you when you have a long day at work. I miss the lunch sandwiches that mommy makes - she always adds little surprises in them. I miss wearing my favorite outfit to school and I miss getting it all dirty in the yard. I miss going to the movies every Sunday. I miss my wall of artwork in my art class, and I miss seeing my friends' artwork also. I miss going to birthday parties and doing karaoke with my friends Michelle and Robbie. I miss going to the park with uncle Wayne and grams. I miss the outside world, daddy. I miss it all.
Dad: I know sweetheart. I miss it too. I miss picking you up from school, seeing your little hand waving hello as I pull up by the gate. I miss our little secret ice cream grabs from Jenny's on Saturdays, and I miss going to the movies with you and mommy on Sundays. I miss your grandma Sue, very, very much. I miss your uncle Wayne and his kids. I miss Monday night football with my buddies. I miss taking your mommy out for sushi on date night. I miss watching you in the end of dance class. You get better every time. I miss my cup of coffee at Joe's. I miss my office and the beautiful drawing you made for my office door. I miss all that.
But sweetheart, do you know what I don't miss?
I don't miss the traffic everywhere. I don't miss the honking cars. I don't miss the loud parties next door. I don't miss my endless amount of meetings that seem to go nowhere. I don't miss working long nights. I don't miss eating junk food on my way back from those late nights at work. I don't miss my boss always pressuring me to do more, to be better, to succeed. I don't miss having to prove myself to my boss and my co-workers. I don't miss the advertisements on billboards that tell me how much I am not doing and what I don't yet have. I don't miss society, frankly. I don't miss it at all.
Being at home - with you and mommy - yes, there are some things we miss, but there is much that is gained. What do we gain sweetheart?
Little Tilly: Um. Each other?
Dad: That's correct. Time with each other. Time to grow together, in understanding, in listening, in unison. Time to create new hobbies, and habits, and solve riddles, and puzzle together, and cherish each other for all that we have. Time to build and protect a little society of our own that is forming, little by little, day by day. Sweetheart, this will be over soon. You shall see your friends again. You will be back in school and see your teacher Cindy and your bus driver Roger again. You will get your clothes dirty again in the playground. You will go back to your dance classes and continue to get better and better, and I will clap for you every time I see you. This will be over and we will have those things again. But let's make sure we won't have to miss what is now gained. Let's gain it and hold it tightly. Forever treasure what this time has given us, my dear daughter. It has given us - each other.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman