One of Tori’s favorite things to do is to stand in front of my old electronic keyboard synthesizer thing and pound dramatically on the keys. Sometimes she’ll press the little orange buttons that make drum sounds, but mostly, she just crashes her fists against the keyboard randomly, reveling in the noise.
But recently, she’s begun delicately pushing one key down, then another, smiling as she goes. It probably means nothing, but being her mother, I assume it signals the beginning of a lifelong musical career.
“Maybe she’ll play in Carnegie Hall one day,” I say to Brian.
“Do you even know where Carnegie Hall is?”
“New York. Somewhere. But that’s not the point. Can’t you see we have a child prodigy in the making?”
He snorts dismissively. “Because she likes pressing the piano keys? You might as well say that because she’s flexible enough to put her foot in her mouth, she’s destined to be a gymnast.”
“Who knows? Maybe she is. As long as she doesn’t want to be a cheerleader.”
“And what if she does?”
I shudder dramatically. “Well, I’ll support her, of course. But I’ll try my darnedest to make sure she’s that one nice cheerleader who’s sweet to the nerds, gets straight As, and doesn’t party with the football players too much.”
Drawing himself up to his full height, Brian suddenly looks more imposing than usual. “She’s not ever partying with the football players. My little girl is going to have a nine o’clock curfew. And she’s not dating until she graduates from college.”
“Riiiight. Keep dreaming, Daddy.”
“Well she’s certainly not going to have time to date if she wants to be a brain surgeon.”
Now it’s my turn to snort. “A brain surgeon, huh? With our collective genes, she’s much more likely to be an actress. Or an artist. Or a penniless writer. Or…”
“Not if we start steering her toward chemistry and math now!”
“So, what are you saying? We should get her a microscope for her first birthday?”
“It couldn’t hurt. Tiger Woods started golfing when he was three.”
“I’d rather let her figure out what she wants to do herself.”
“And what if she wants to smoke pot and play the guitar in an alley somewhere?”
“Well, as long as she doesn’t cook up crystal meth and live in a van down by the river,” I tease.
“She’d have to back that van up over my dead body first,” he growls.
“Lighten up, Papa Bear,” I say, kissing him on the cheek. “She’s going to need to learn to walk before she can go anywhere.”
“I still say we should get her started on math now…”
“Fine. Teach her how to count blocks. But first, go grab her off the stairs before she falls to her death.”
Grumbling, he goes to do as I asked. Moments later, I hear him explaining what molecules water is made of as he washes her sticky hands in the sink.
I can’t help but smile as I roll my eyes.
With a daddy like that watching out for her, her future is guaranteed to be bright.