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A Little Girl Named "Inspiration"

Posted by Fatherhood Admin

Last Friday was a tough day for me. I had just boarded a subway train heading to my first of three speaking engagements. I was already pretty tired because I had to take another early morning flight. To make matters worse, I wasn’t looking forward to a tough call about this year’s budget with our VP of Finance in preparation for an upcoming board meeting. As you can imagine, it’s very difficult "sledding" so far this year due to the fundraising environment. We need lots of help and it seems like I am working twice as hard to raise half the funds. Indeed, I was a bit discouraged.

Then, I saw her.

She couldn’t have been more than three years old and she was sitting right across from me next to her mother. She had just the cutest little face, which was framed with a flock of perfectly twisted braids. And those eyes. Well, they were like big brown shiny buttons and they were locked on me like a laser beam.

Now, anyone who knows me knows well that I am a “sucker” for little kids. But, since I was in a bit of a funk, I was stubbornly determined not to engage her. Plus, I had to prepare for my important speech about fatherhood. So, I turned back to my work.

But, she would have none of it. I looked up again. And, there she was staring at me. She was transfixed. So, I had no choice. I smiled. And she lit up like a Christmas tree and smiled back as if to say, “Gotcha.”

I looked at her mother—who seemed to be carrying a heavy burden—and noticed that she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. And, I could not help but wonder where this little girl's dad was and when was the last time he smiled at her. In any case, before I could consider this more, the train stopped and the mother grabbed the little girl’s hand and headed for the door and then they disappeared into the crowd.

I doubt that I will ever see those eyes again. But, I will never forget them. And, I doubt that I will ever know this precious little one’s name. But, I have given her one nonetheless. I will call her…Inspiration.

Topics: father absence, family, father-daughter, moms

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