Time & Tears

19 years ago I discovered you were to be, and the joy was as an explosion of light.
I fantasised about all we would do together, with tears in my eyes.

18 years ago, I held you – a few moments after your birth.
I took you to a window looking out to a night scene, and showed you your new world, with tears in my eyes.

16 years ago, you took your first steps. You had suddenly changed from baby to child.
Every time I looked at you, or indeed, at any child, I would have tears in my eyes.

14 years ago, I left your home.
Death is nothing compared to the anguish we both suffered.
For six months, I lay awake in the cold mornings, with tears in my eyes.

13 years ago, I took you to your first day of school.
You were dressed in a cute blue uniform and were trying to act brave – but I knew that you were trembling inside – just as I was, with tears in my eyes.

12 years ago, you opened up your birthday present.
It was a colourful shiny bicycle, hidden in the closet. That year, we spent many days riding through parks, with you all proud ringing your bicycle bell. A few months later, I remember giving you a final push – you were riding without your training wheels. Pride filled me, choking me, and tears poured from my eyes.

10 years ago, you started high school. I did not want to let you go. I waited in the car till I couldn’t see your hat anymore. Then I waited some more. I finally drove off, struggling with the tears in my eyes.

8 years ago, you fell from the school monkey bars. You were always so agile – how could you fall??? You suffered horrendous injuries, and for a while we thought you would not be able to use your arm again. But you fought through it. I lay with you every night, while you cried in pain. You exercised, and despite the odds, brought your arm back to life. We all had tears in our eyes.

6 years ago, you began asking me about girls. Your openness and honesty was beautiful to hear. I casually answered your questions, and gave you guidance. You did not know it, but I was hiding the tears in my eyes.

4 years ago, I had attended the 600th meeting at your school. Things were not going too well. You hated it, and had given up trying. I left your Principal’s office, once again, with tears in my eyes.

2 years ago, we stuck those bright yellow learner signs on my car and went for your first drive. You acted confident, but I knew you were scared. I wasn’t scared. I knew you, and knew what you were capable of. That first day, you drove back up the driveway, and I was so proud, I had tears in my eyes.

Yesterday, I drove up your driveway in my car as you were backing out with you own new, shiny car. You wound down the window, and we exchanged a few words over glass. You didn’t bother to get out because you were in a hurry, as you always are.
Did you know that once again, I had tears in my eyes?

Time & Tears

Mark German

Strathmore, Australia

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