This little patch of screen has become a silent solitary sanctuary. Tonight I had to have the hardest conversation I never thought I’d have with the Girl Wonder. My father, my wonderful grouchy Oreo eating father, is sick. So sick. As children we can’t wait to grow up. As grown ups we can’t help but wish to be children. At least I do. In this moment. Back to a time of fishing trips with my Dad in a beat up blue Ford pick up truck, bought from the Charlie Chips guy, with rusted out floorboards faithfully carrying us like a mechanical mare to fish on Lake Brittle. Back to driving lessons with my dad on our twisty turny road. To high school track meets. But I can’t go back. I have to stay here. I have to be the parent who has to tell her Girl that her Pap-Pap is sick. I don’t want to I don’t I don’t I don’t. I have to sit and hold all 100 pounds and 5′ 1″ of her in my lap while we become a shaky mass of snot and tears. I have to stroke her hair and hold her tight and wish that I were the kid. That I had a lap and someone to stroke my hair. And as the Mom, I have to sit on the basement stairs and cry because it hurts. And everyone is far away. And as the Mom, I have to keep us both in Kleenex and hope. And right now, in this little patch of screen, I can admit that I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know if I can. I don’t want to. I want to have a temper tantrum with foot stomping, caterwauling and fist pounding. I want time out Instead, I’ll go to the second to last stair and cry some more. Then fix dinner. Then later, I’ll tuck the Girl Wonder in and sing out our reptoire of lullabies starting with some Landslide by Fleetwood Mac because the words ring bitter sweet for me tonight.