Jump

                Jump

I clearly remember 
like it was yesterday.
You said “jump”
as plain as could be.
I stared down
as you looked up.
My one-plus year old
smiling at me.

With cautious hands
beneath your arms.
I lifted my little girl
from her little bed.
I laughed aloud
at my surprise.
“Of course you can”
was all I said.

Walking on air
to the end of the hall.
Down the stairs
to your favorite place.
Different this time
with that single word.
And the anxious look
on your one-plus face.

You seemed more eager
as I put you in.
The harness secure
under your tiny frame.
You immediately began
as I let you go.
I immediately knew
it would never be the same.

“Jump, jump, JUMP!”
as plain as could be.
Three more times
as you bounced and sat.
With no hesitation
and the proudest grin.
“Jump, jump, JUMP!”
just like that.

Astounded, I watched
and intently I listened.
My bouncing baby girl
and her happy word.
Up and down
and over and over.
The sweetest sound
that I had ever heard.

There may have been
a “mama” or a “dada”.
But nothing as perfect 
or with less doubt.
Other infant things
that infants say.
There must have been
but I’ve blocked them out.

I soaked it all in
and beamed with pride.
“She’s smart already
and athletic too!”
It occurred to me
on that glorious day.
And it’s the same now
when I think of you.

A vivid memory
about my first-born.
I tell it often
and I’m never bored.
This proud father,
who could show you now…
If he’d grabbed his camera
and pressed ‘record’.

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