She Waits

December 4, 2013
Photo Credit: Mike Hiatt

Photo Credit: Mike Hiatt

She sits quietly on the sofa. Her legs are crossed with her left leg over the top of her right. She reminds me of a business woman reading the newspaper while sitting on a park bench. Every few seconds her left leg swings up in a slight kicking motion. It’s a very rhythmic movement, yet I don’t think she is aware she is doing it. She’s reading one of the books from her book club. She reads a lot, but I can tell she is patiently waiting.

She only reads to occupy her time. She’s really just waiting on me. Waiting for me to invite her to watch a little Doctor Who. It’s her favorite show, although she refuses to watch it alone. She would rather watch it with me. Every few days she walks up to me and asks, “Can we watch some Doctor Who soon?” I always say, “Yes, we will watch some Doctor Who soon.” She smiles back at me, nods her head and goes back to whatever she is doing. Today she’s reading.

There is always something else for me to do. Something else to take me away from my promise. Her older sisters push harder to get what they want, and for some reason they can make what they want sound so much more…necessary. So much more important. Elaina just makes her request in that low, relaxed tone that I am very comfortable with. Maybe I’m a little too comfortable.

Eventually, she will quit waiting.
Eventually, she will quit asking.

I return to the living room where she is sitting. “Let’s go watch a couple episodes of Doctor Who,” I invite her. Without making a sound she calmly places her book on the sofa beside her, rises to meet me, and I escort her to mom and dad’s room where we lose ourselves to a few hours of entertainment.

James Dibben