John Brewster Jr., "Comfort Starr Mygatt and His Daughter Lucy," 1799
The arc made as the swing approaches apogee; another, as the child lets go and flies away, off a plastic seat and into the air, laughing, landing like a circus acrobat, tumbling on down the soft grassy hill. “Daddy, push me higher!” and how he always would, fathers are like that. Joy in an aerialist’s giggle, joy when tossing the child up to touch the clouds, and the saddest joy, when all the childhood leaving becomes real. Later, so much later if we’re lucky, joy in sadness—we’ll hold our breath, our tears, each other when the daddy flies off into the same sky where we once flew. No wind; the sky blue as a jay feather, the daddy light as a cloud, as he gently floats away.