My daughter is a senior in high school. Next month, she and I are visiting the college she plans to attend. Adulthood is closing in fast. Before long, the days of having “my little girl” at home will be past. I’ve hardly begun to accept this fact.
Thinking about my daughter growing up reminded me of a poem called “Alarm Clock” I wrote eight or nine years ago. This poem was in my first book, The Wind and the Shadows, and looks at the transition from little kid to older child, the horizon of adulthood looming in the background.
Alarm Clock My daughter’s face lights up as we plug it in and set the time: her first alarm clock. That night, I make sure the alarm is set and flip off the light. The clock’s face glows as I kiss my daughter goodnight. At the bedroom door, I pause to look back. The clock casts new shadows over my daughter’s bedspread, which is pink with cartoon ponies. I remember she used to pop up early, chattering and scampering like a chipmunk. No one needed alarm clocks in those days. Later that night, I sit down on my bed. For a long while I look at my alarm clock. Mechanically, my hand lifts up and moves the switch. The alarm is set. I lie down to sleep, and sleep I will until my dreams are cut short and I turn off the alarm.
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