I will never buy another razor in my lifetime.
“Dad,” she said, me sitting on the steps of a shop nestled in the SoHo district of New York City. “I bought you something.”
My daughter is now an adult – woman. Traveling together, just the two of us arms length from each other for a week, was a new experience. Until this particular trip, arm’s length meant me holding her hand to keep her out of traffic or wandering off into a crowd. College aged adults don’t need this type of supervision.
Sitting down next to me, she hands me a small bag flowing over with colorful tissue paper.
She is beautiful. Long gone are the days of the little girl who’d sit closely against me as crowds swirled around us or see me as someone with the means to purchase a souvenir she might spot on a shelf. Today, on this trip, she is confident, educated, and self-sufficient. She is an adult in every sense of the word.
“Open it up,” she said.
I can’t help but wonder how we’ve arrived at this point in life, the two of us adults each capable of making independent decisions across wide spectrums of issues. To her, this is her city, a place she could only know better if she already had a local zip code. That of course, is next.
Pulling the noisy tissue paper from the bag, I reach down and discover a box. I look back up at her, the moment we’re sharing distracting me, and see her face in the afternoon light. I see my wife, her mother, below the surface. Inner strength and drive are on display.
Pulling the box from the bottom of the bag, she helps me open the sliding case.
She tells me she knows this is not the same price as an airline ticket, but she wanted to get me something to remember our trip.
I don’t know the name on the box let alone the names of most of the stores along the narrow street. But she does, and to her this is important.
The box slides away to reveal an orange handled razor and a couple tubes of liquids. Taking each out, she tells me how to use them on my face. I listen.
What strikes me is how different this moment is to me. As my mind tells me, gifts from my daughter come in forms of stuffed animals or t-shirts. The box in the bag is different.
Reaching down, I pick up the razor. An unfamiliar logo is embossed on the orange handle – a name I’d never find in a local drugstore.
The razor gently balances in the palm of my hand. What I see, however, represents so much more. My daughter is an independent adult completely capable of making her own decisions, formulating opinions, and supporting herself. And this one, the orange handled razor with a name I don’t recognize, is her sharing a small part of her new world with me.
The world may very well come up with a razor capable of mowing the lawn, loading dishwashers, and monitoring blood pressure. But to me, nothing else will be able to give to me what I received sitting on the steps while staring at an orange razor in the palm of my hand.
– 30 –