Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 8, 2013

John Clarke: Wishing nothing but the best for the girls: 7/8/13

ASHLAND — They lay there in the bed like tangled blossoms. For a while they will lie still and quiet, and then they thrash about like willows in a storm. There is just no way to have any rest when they come over to stay.

They are not mine; they are her granddaughters. I guess they are my penitence for wanting one of my own. Mine will be coming in only 21⁄2 months.

When I call, they want to talk to me. When I pull into the driveway to drop something off, they must run out to me in their bare feet on the hot asphalt just to say hello. The little one looks up at me with big hazel flirting eyes and whispers betrayed secrets, suspicioned by me, but known only to her. She eats her food with no reckoning of manners, she eats ravenously and generously. There are some women and girls I love to watch eat, and she is one of them.

The oldest, most always speaks in collective terms. Things like “We like this,” “We want to go there” or “We don’t like her.” The little one just nods her head in agreement and goes along all the while sporting some ornery smile.

When they awake in the morning the first thing they want to do is to jump in the pond. I think they may sleep in their swim suits underneath their sleeping clothes. They will thrash about wearing their swimmies until you threaten them to come out of the water. They are mostly fearless. But at times you may well hear a shriek that comes across the pond as loud as thunder. “Something touched my leg” they will exclaim. Having swam in those waters for 40-plus years, I know it to be nothing more than a minnow being curious. They pull themselves upon the dock and then dive right back in. But, mostly when they are in the pond they just splash and laugh.

My sisters are much older, and I raised two sons, so I have no earthly idea how the minds of little girls work; they fascinate me. The oldest has talents that elude me. She dances in flowing movements, twirling, bending and jumping like some sort of wood nymph. The youngest is given more to athletics. She is tough and tumble and listens intently to the goings-on of the adults around her. She seemingly sees all and absorbs it for some future reference. I think she may have a crush on me.

Trouble is these little girls have had men, father figures, in and out of their lives. I worry about the damage abandonment has done to their delicate psyches and I do not wish to contribute. I have been around now for about 11⁄2 years. By default, I have garnered some level of responsibility, a responsibility I did not sign up for. I mean, I’m just dating their Nana. I mean we have a great time and all, we get to do some pretty neat things because we are a couple, but I do not take commitment lightly. I really don’t believe I am up for it again.

However, my life is more over than being started and these little girls have not yet begun to live theirs. Perhaps it is my lot in life to sacrifice my wants and needs to another, yet it is where I have mostly found any sort of wholesome happiness. So perhaps, I may take that step, but yet again maybe I can allow myself to enter into a period where I can allow my life to be about me.

I just don’t know. But I still want the best for those little girls.

JOHN CLARKE is a freelance writer from Boyd County. He can be reached at wallst99@yahoo.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Probe of Fairview begins

    Four investigators from the state Office of Education Accountability spent much of Thursday interviewing school officials in a probe of alleged school law violations in the Fairview Independent School District.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grant helps Elliott County High School with $1.7 million geothermal renovation

    Elliott County School District Superintendent Dr. Carl Potter II remembers the night a few years ago when the lights went out in the middle of an Elliott County boys basketball game and interrupted it for some 20 minutes while the lights powered up.

    July 31, 2014

  • Heroin overdose deaths continue to rise

    The Kentucky state legislature passed a sweeping overhaul to its prescription drug law in the summer of 2012 after a flood of overdose deaths, making it significantly harder for people to access dangerous addictive drugs from doctors.

    July 31, 2014

  • Morehead man faces drug charges

    A Morehead man is facing multiple drug charges after taking possession of a suspicious package mailed to his home on Dillon Lane, according to the Kentucky State Police.

    July 31, 2014

  • Highlands’ Artists Market to begin today

    Up-and-coming artists are being offered a rare chance to show and sell their work during the First Friday art walk.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dogonline.jpg 'Educate and entertain'

    A local theater group is shooting for changing the area’s theater scene.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07/31/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    July 31, 2014

  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014