Butterfly Kisses suck. Not butterfly kisses themselves. They are sweet and wonderful when received from a sweet and wonderful child. It's the song. I hate when they play this song. Not that the song isn't as sweet and wonderful as butterfly kisses are. It is. It's just what this song does to me that sucks.
We were at the beginning of the end of our marriage. Things were falling apart fast. That sounds weird since we had been in a slow, uncomfortable, holding pattern for so many years. But here we were. I wasn't sure where things were headed. My husband was. He told one of MY friends that he had been to see a lawyer. God said wait. Friends and family said look to protecting yourself and your child. God said wait. So, what was there to do..... but wait.
It was Spring. Recital time! Every parent looks forward to watching their little virtuoso on the stage mesmerizing the audience with the proficiency of their musical abilities. My daughter's flute teacher was excited to tell us he had something really great planned for her to play that year. He told us he wanted her to play Butterfly Kisses with a full band back-up. On the screen behind her would be a slide show of pictures from infancy to present. He wanted lots of daddy-daughter pictures....and even better, take one with her wearing a veil! He said the audience would love it, they would probably all be moved to tears.
My face betrayed me. He didn't get it. What didn't I like about his idea? I think he was the first person outside of my close circle of friends that I told. "My husband has gone to see a lawyer. Things are pretty bad right now. I'm not sure what is going to happen." Generously, he offered to switch her song. But, I couldn't take this away from my daughter because of my discomfort. If I surrounded myself with friends, perhaps it would be alright.
She played Butterfly Kisses beautifully. The audience oohed and aahed as each new picture came on the screen. A few people actually cried. My friends encircled me with love and support. God's grace was there for me and I got through it. Life marched on. I switched the station every time this song came on.
Until a couple of days ago. Butterfly Kissis came on when I was driving. It's been a long time. I always enjoyed the song before. Let it play. And play on it did. Painting a beautiful picture of the love of a daddy for his daughter as she grows from his little girl to a young woman that he will walk down the aisle. And the grief crashed down so forcefully it was almost crushing. My daughter, my beautiful little girl won't have that. Her daddy can go months without calling her. He doesn't know her dreams, her fears, her hurts. Has she ever seen his eyes filled with love for her? Has he told her that she is beautiful? Has he told her how lucky some young man will be to take her as his wife some day? Has he told her that, no matter what, he will protect her? Will he be a stranger the day he walks her down the aisle? Will she have the intimacy of that shared moment with her daddy? Or will it be one more thing she has had ripped from her?
Fear adds to my grief. I love my daughter. I know she knows it. I am deliberate about her knowing it. But try as I might, I cannot give her all those things that little girls learn and gain from their relationships with their daddies. I try to compensate as much as I am able. But I wonder, when I am watching her look into a mirror on her wedding day to adjust her veil, what will I see in her eyes? Will I have done enough? Will I be enough?