My Words Are Like Weapons

why can't they protect me?

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Oh god, again.

It’s my birthday. 29. That seems like a very high number, a number to signify the ending of one era and the edge of another. I am hopeful, for the first time in years. I am looking forward to the end of this decade of my life and eagerly awaiting the next. A decade of promise, of hope, of finally getting my shit together.
I am not alone anymore. And only knowing this can I look back and see how, despite the fact that I was surrounded by people, how very alone I was. I had never been appreciated the way I am now. I had never been with someone who loved me so much, and unabashedly told anyone who would listen long enough.
I am glad that I have made it this far. Mom said it would take 2 years, and this is the 2nd anniversary. She was right. Happy birthday to me. I’ve moved on.
I am happy. Finally.

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Is it fast enough that we could fly away?

I noticed something today. Something that I should have noticed a long time ago.
I was at Seattle pride, enjoying my moderately overpriced microbrew in the beer garden alone when it happened. I had to be there alone, see, because my daughter was there with Sam and I. She unfortunately wasn’t old enough to come into the beer garden, and so at least one of us had to stay on the other side of the waist high fence with her. Sam went in first and downed his beer quickly. Then we did the little switcheroo and I ran in to enjoy my beer whil he watched ri.
So I was drinking my beer, and Sam was entertaining Riley by playing this game with her. She would run away from him, then turn around and wait for his signal. Then, when he nodded, she would run at him full force and when she reached him she would jump into his arms. At this point he would catch her and throw her up above his head a few inches, catching her after a seemingly endless moment where she was suspended in the air, and then place her safely on the ground.
They did this over and over again. And I watched them, fascinated. I mean, clearly she did it over and over because it was fun. But in that moment where he tossed her up, she looked absolutely terrified. I mean, she would reach out toward him and clench nothing but air in her fingers, and even though he had done this several times before, and she had to know that he’d catch her, she would sorta shriek and laugh for those seconds where he wasn’t touching her. One of Riley’s favorite things about Sam is how tall he is. He’s almost 6’5”, and he can still carry her like she’s a toddler, even though she’s 8 years old and closer to my height than not. So this game is not one easily played with the average person. I couldn’t do it. I don’t even think her dad can.
What was absolutely awesome to see was the way she looked at Sam when he caught her after her short flight. It was a look of absolute trust, absolute delight. No matter the terror on her face in mid air, it was replaced with a look of hero worship for this man who could both throw her up above him and catch her before she fell.
What I realized in watching this moment, something I should have realized long ago, is that even though she is my daughter, she and Sam have a relationship that is independent of me. They do not love each other because of a shared love for me. Riley matters to Sam without my involvement, and he matters to her.
And in watching this perfect moment, beer in hand, Sam has earned more than myself. He has earned my daughter.