When Did You Start Growing Up?
Chapter 1: Wake up
The bird chirping
alarm is how daughter likes to wake herself up. It’s calming, soothing effect
allows her to feel totally relaxed at 8 am in the morning on a Saturday.
thought she wouldn’t have to go the museum with Daddy today, but with Mommy off
to the beauty salon for a 12-hour work day, quality time with him it is.
She’s at the point
now where she isn’t wowed or amazed by anything in dusty old museums. Her
current fascination is with hanging out with her friends and trying to make a
name for herself in this world.
Her and Daddy used
to go into DC to see the National History and Air and Space museums every other
Saturday when she was little. Those trips have waned throughout the years and
time has distanced the two of them.
Daughter wakes up
to check her phone for any “Good Morning” texts.
No new messages are
on there yet. Really, there’s only one text that she’s really waiting on.
As Daughter takes
the covers off herself and throws her clothes on, she wonders if she can convince
Daddy one more time that they should cancel this museum trip.
Chapter 2: Wake up
Kirk Franklin’s “Looking
for You” wakes Daddy up. He likes to feel inspired when he first opens his eyes
no matter what day of the week it is.
He’s jumping out
the bed like he just won the lottery. He reminds himself that he doesn’t have
to go into the office today to tail with his over-bearing boss and that makes
him feel even more juiced for the day.
He hasn’t told his
wife that lately most of the days that he works he dreams that he could be
anywhere else, doing anything else besides stare at a screen for 6 hours a day.
Daddy does wish that
she could’ve came with him and daughter today to the museum but understands
that she’s passionate about that salon and really feels like she has found one
of her niches in life.
He sends her a “Good
Morning” text knowing that she’ll respond shortly and then go ghost on him for
the next five hours.
Daddy’s thinks he
could make some eggs and French toast for breakfast but knows that his cooking
skills are still a work in progress after all these years and just continues to
get ready in his room.
He hears some
stirring from Daughter’s room and finally gets himself together to meet her for
Breakfast w/ Daddy & Daughter
Cereal is on today’s
breakfast menu, and by cereal: Fruit Loops. Daddy’s little girl is growing but
she still loves herself some Loops and the old man will make sure that his girl
isn’t alone in eating her colorful breakfast.
Daughter tries to
get Daddy to change his mind about going to the museums and instead going to
the mall with her so she can get a new outfit.
Any time the
conversation veers towards the mall, Daddy knows he’s going to have a massive
credit card bill to pay and he’d like to hold off on paying Bank of America any
He looks at his
little girl and still imagines her pestering him with questions about what they
would see at the museum, wondering if they could stay at the museum the whole
Daddy can’t bring
himself to take off his blinders and realize his daughter is going to leave him
and go off on her own adventures. If only for one day, things could back to the
way that they were.
Daughter has her
phone right next to her still waiting on that text.
The phone buzzes
and a smile crossed her face. The text says, “Good Morning beautiful, ready for
our day in DC together?”
She looks down at
the text again and then at Daddy. “Definitely,” she replies to the text. “Just
have to hang out with my dad for a little bit at the museum.”
“You guys going
right now?” Daughter’s “friend” replies.
“Yes, he’s getting
all nostalgic about me growing up and wants to relieve different parts of my
No response from
her “friend” just yet.
Daddy rises from
his chair and tells Daughter it’s time to get in the car.
Chapter 4: Drive to
Daughter looks down
at her phone as she and Daddy are finally in DC.
“I can kind of
relate to the whole nostalgia thing,” the text read. “My dad told me last week
that he catches me doing things I did when I was a kid; still sees the little
boy I used to be. I’ll be by the Mall around 11 so we can get some brunch.”
She smiles and locks
Daddy is focused on
the Waze directions trying to place him in an affordable parking garage near National
He tells Daughter
to look out the window at the National Black History Museum. Daddy got tickets
to go next weekend and he knows she’s been dying to go.
He doesn’t tell her
though, he’ll probably break the news to her on the drive home later.
Daddy finds the
parking garage and away he and Daughter go to their first stop: The National
Chapter 5: Daddy
and Daughter at the Museum
When they first get
into the museum, a large elephant greets Daddy and Daughter.
They smile because
the first time they came here when Daughter was 5, she immediately went up and
tried to climb it. Security came swiftly but Daddy was there to save the day.
As they walk through
the museum now, Daddy sees that Daughter really doesn’t have any interest in
any of the exhibits.
She looks as if she’s
just skating through trying to bide time.
Daddy wonders if they
should just head over to Air and Space but Daughter says that she’s fine.
It’s 10:55 and she
knows she’ll be getting that next text she’s been waiting for all morning.
At this point, time
is getting away from the two of them and before they know it, 11:00 am hits.
Daughter looks down
at her phone but there is no service.
She tells Daddy
that yes, maybe they should head over to Air and Space.
As they make their
way outside, Daughter sees him and immediately begins running.
Chapter 6: Daddy
Daddy starts to run
after her wondering where his little girl is going off to. As he starts to get
close to Daughter, he sees the young man.
Daddy sees him and
Daughter embrace with a hug and a kiss.
“Daddy, this is
shakes the young man’s hand.
“Hey Bill, good to
finally meet you.”
“You too Robert,” Bill
looks at his daughter and she is smiling from ear to ear.
“I met your wife
the few times I’ve been over the house. She told me you have a thing for
museums. Maybe I can go with you and Nala one of these weekends before we go
back to school.”
Bill had talked to
his wife every night about Nala and not once was Robert mentioned.
“Young man, to be
honest, this is the first time I’ve heard of you.”
Bill looks over at
his daughter again and she hasn’t taken her eyes off this boy not once.
From the looks of
the two of them, Robert and Nala have probably been together for 6 months or
so. Bill still couldn’t believe Nala never mentioned him. He thought that if
the young man gets along with his wife, that was good enough for him.
“Listen, Robert why
don’t you and my daughter spend some alone time together. She obviously wants
to spend the day with you. Maybe get some brunch. She’s only had Fruit Loops to
Bill looks at Nala
and she does a quick side fist pump.
“Bill, I was
actually thinking about asking you to do that,” Robert said. “I apologize for this
being our first time meeting each other. We’ll definitely be seeing more of
Bill shook Robert’s
hand and just as he was about to say bye to Nala, he motioned her over.
“You really like
this guy huh,” he said.
“Daddy, I really
feel like we were meant to be together,” Nala said.
“I’ll be the judge
of that. I don’t like being told things last minute, but it does seem like you
guys genuinely care for one another. Just guard your heart.”
Nala places her
hand over heart instinctually. She goes and gives Bill a kiss on the cheek and
runs off to join Robert for lunch.
Chapter 7: Robert
and Nala’s Secret
As she walks down
the Mall with Robert hand in hand, she starts to get warm.
“Why don’t you take
your jacket off babe,” Robert says. “Your dad is way back there and he won’t be
able to see.”
Nala has been wearing
her baggy clothing more than usual lately to ensure Bill wouldn’t ask any
As she takes off
the jacket, her belly can’t be hidden much longer.
When she found out
she was pregnant, Nala knew her father would flip so she told her mother.
There, she found a
comforting voice and support and her mother asked Nala to bring Robert to the
Robert made quite
the impression on her mother and she knew that even though it was unplanned,
that her little family was coming together.
She and Robert
finally made it the restaurant, sat down and immediately started discussing
possible baby names.
Chapter 8: When Did
You Start Growing Up?
Nala and Robert
were long gone but Bill was still standing outside The National History Museum.
He was still
analyzing meeting one of his daughter’s boyfriend.
Matter of fact, he
believed that Robert was Nala’s first boyfriend.
Where had the time
The first time his
daughter told him she had a crush, when she was 5, Bill immediately felt both
excited and terrified.
He was excited that
she had developed those feelings but afraid that she would get her little heart
Sure enough, Nala
ended up breaking that little boy’s heart over a doughnut.
Long story short, during
lunch at their elementary school, Nala wanted a piece of the little boy’s
doughnut because he was her girlfriend. The boy said no and Nala told him that
they were no longer seeing each other.
Bill wondered if
the same type of scenario would happen here.
15 years later,
She’s obviously not
that same little girl any more. She might end up marrying this guy.
wondered, he may end up taking his grandchildren to the museum and tell them
stories about their mother exploring exhibit after exhibit.
For now, though, he
was going to go back into the museum and as he entered, he thought about his daughter
again and wondered: “When Did You Start Growing Up?”