My daddy's strongest

You’re standing at the quadrangle, the boarding school is teeming Teeming with adults and children alike, waiting for the moment the holidays begin  

One man stands out, seemingly taller than the restImpeccably dressed, searching through the crowds till his eyes meet yours He’s your dad, and you’re not afraid to show itMy Daddy’s strongest
You’re standing on stage, feeling scruffy and hoping you make it alive through that speechYou watch him smile and suddenly feel like you’re winning an OscarHe’s talking to you about the transformerYou know all about it before the Physics teacher startsIt’s a driving road trip holiday across the South He stops to collect soil samples for a geography project he seems more interested inHe makes you feel like it’s okay to keep reading while on holidayHe wipes your tears and promises to quit his job so you can change schools to a big cityMy Daddy’s strongest
You feel like a gangly mess of arms and legsYou’re heading off to college and everybody seems more confidentHe gives you a hug as you leave, and you know you’ll make it okayThe train comes chugging into the station on your first holiday backHis is the first head you see on the platform as it entersMy Daddy’s strongest
Your office is filled with people you don't know the conference hall with boring eyesYou swallow hard, it's your first time in front of the bigwigs

You've aced it nobody knew your knees were shaking'Good one' says your bossand you nod in acknowledgementPeople greet you in the hallway you're finally knownYou mentally high-five yourself and call DadHe says he knew you had it in youMy Daddy’s strongest
It's time for the weddingand you still feel you're not readyYou want time to stop, you want to tell your sister you'll miss her more than she misses youYou want to tell your parents that you don't really want to leaveYou wonder for a second if maybe this is a dream and it's somebody else's weddingYou're walking up the altar and he turns around and in that split second he catches your eyeIt's okay you think, this is right you think as he smiles

You squeeze your father’s hand before you let go  you let him know it'll be alrightHe squeezes your hand back - he'll never let go he seems to say - and yet he doesMy Daddy’s strongest
At a grocery check-out, cellphone ringingchildren whining, car keys falling outAs you attempt to put your items on the counterYou imagine kicking back in a sun-lit room with Sarah McLachlan and a good book for companyThe credit card machine doesn't work and you rummage through your toy-filled bag Hoping for a wallet with more money than you know is in thereThoughts of fluttering pages of your book vanishYou glance at your phone, you've missed an email from your boss - you've missed a deadline at work 

You make it through the parking lot with no falling grocery bags, you stuff the lot in, children includedDad calls to talk about the weatherSuddenly everything quietens downYou feel more organised and in those two minutes things seem back on trackMy Daddy’s strongest
You're outside the hospital room your dad is unwellYou've aged a decade in the past weekyou want him to wake up, tell you you'll be fineYou can't really cry, because that's not what you doThe children need to be entertained and you're glad they have their fatherYou watch your mother, you wonder where she gets her strength fromDad is fine they say, you finally burst into tearsyou're happy, but you're scaredYou're still his little girlYou'll be fine he says, but what you really want is for him to be fine insteadMy Daddy’s strongest
He’s always made you feel like ChristmasLike you light up the room when you walk inHe’s made that secret promise of ignoring the gawkiness of your adolescenceOf forgetting all your mistakes and failuresHe’s given you strength to stand alone and face the world out on your ownHe’s taught you forgiveness and what it means to be a better humanMy Daddy’s strongest
You peep through the door, it feels like your day is finally overYou've won some hard battles with your five-year-old ninjas and they're finally asleep

The kitchen counter is clear and your laptop can stay switched offYou pick your way through a floor filled with legoYou merely breathe in this uncanny peace as you watch your family sleepDad calls to discuss the cricket score as you lock the front doorThe day ends perfectlyMy Daddy’s strongest
You are unwell, you are exhausted it's too early for the alarm to ringYou close your eyes for a second and pretend it's the weekendBut there is breakfast to be made, little faces washed and snack boxes packedThe dog needs to be let out, your throat hurts the show must go on, you thinkYou force yourself to sit up and switch on the bedside lamp Your husband has woken up before youand made you a cup of teaYour little girl wakes up and goes over for a quick cuddle with himHer Daddy’s strongest

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