My sharpest memory is of the day I stopped being my daughter’s hero. I thought for sure I could wait until she was at least thirteen before that title would be stripped away. But at eighteen months old, I was becoming the monster that would fuel her nightmares for years to come.
An hour before, I was happily at work, going about my day. Then the panicked phone call, the drive home, and the drive to the hospital.
Now, her body wrapped up like a cocoon in a blanket to keep her arms down around her sides, I was the one who was forced to hold her down while the doctor and a nurse worked on putting stitches into her forehead. All she could do was look up at me with her big green eyes and plead with every ounce of energy she could, “Daddy, daddy, daddy…”
This is the part you never hear about while growing up. It’s one thing when they deserve correction. But no one prepares you for when you have to be the ‘bad guy’ for all the right reasons.
Truth be told, I’m not sure who suffers the nightmares of that moment more. Because the entire time, she stared into my eyes. The entire time she tried to get her arms loose and have me make it all go away. The entire time she wanted me to hug her. And because I couldn’t, the entire time, my heart broke just a bit more.
A college non-fiction piece that had to be 250 words or less using the prompt, "My sharpest memory is..."