I was tucked away in my bed. Just beyond my headboard was the doorway to my parents' room. A knocking sounded in the bedroom, a heavy man's hand on that headboard, and I heard my father's voice say, "Baby Doll, Can you hear me? Baby Doll Come on in here."
Well, I was up and into his bedroom. I jumped unto his bed, and we talked awhile. Then he sang my favorite songs. I like the "Big Rock Candy Mountain." It made me think of rock candy he bought me once so that I'd know what it was when we sang the song. I liked to sing the "Green Grass Grows All Around." We sang that one together. It lasts a very long, very long, very long time. He would make his voice way, way, way, way down low like it was in the ground.
Then, he grabbed me and held me in the biggest, tightest bear hug.
"Let me go, Daddy. Let me go!" I said, as I struggled to get free.
He laughed a jolly laugh. My mother came to see what the ruckus was.
"Mom, Mommy, help me. Help me."
"No," she said. "You got yourself into this mess. You find your way out."
"Let me go, Daddy. Let me go!" I said, as I struggled even harder. I knew it was useless.
He laughed and tickled me mercilessly.
"Let me go, Daddy. Let me go!" I begged.
"Give me three good reasons," he finally said, as he always did. Always three good reasons were his rule.
Then I knew I was about to be free.
The three good reasons were easy, and they always worked.
So I struggled just a little more.
Then I said them all in a row, reasons one, two, and three.
"I love you. I love you. I love you more than the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the green, green, grass that grows around tree."
He let go, and I started tickling him.
After all he deserved it -- every bit of love.
--me strauss Letting me be