This past Monday my wife took our three-year old daughter for a haircut and to get her nails done. Afterwards I joined them at a pizza parlor for dinner.
Somehow we got on the subject of marriage and my daughter said something that I've only heard in movies:
"I'm gonna marry Daddy when I'm older," she said.
My wife and I both responded that she couldn't marry me, I was her Daddy.
Now I was sitting across from my daughter while my wife was to her side. I saw the hurt in her eyes and said "She's going to cry."
My wife, unable to see her face, assumed I was playing up my little triumph. So, assuming all was still right with the world, she said in a sing-song voice "you can't marry Daddy, 'cause I married him first."
That was the end of dinner. My daughter screamed and started bawling at the table, crying that she wanted to marry me. The tears didn't stop until we were almost home.
At least to the parents involved, it's funny, it's touching - and it's a little sad. There'll come a day when my daughter doesn't think I know everything, and hot on its heels will be the day she's a teenager and looks on me with scorn.
I can only hope that when all is said and done for me here on Earth, a little piece of my daughter's heart still loves me as much as she did that day.