It's an old thing with me and Daddy. Killing flies. And fly swatters. You'd set me on your shoulders when I was two and we'd walk around the house in summer, killing flies on the ceiling. You taught me what to say after the sharp SLAP and a fly tumbling through the air to the floor.You still say it to me sometimes when you're on the hunt for them. And for old time's sake, I say it, too, after I've gotten one. "Got-im! Got-im!"
I can see this mini us walking all over a house, my hands on top of your head, through your hair, saying it. SLAP. "Got-im!" SLAP. "Got-im!"
And when I was little, and we were moving, all kit and kaboodle from Cali, I was impossible for you and wouldn't go to sleep. You resorted to the only thing you could. In the hotel room at night, with mother worn out, you'd grab me and wrap both arms around me and hold me tight and wouldn't let me move till I fell asleep.
It became sort of a habit with us. I don't remember, but we've got pictures. Pictures that are old and 90s, and me with short brown curls, and you still had your hair. You'd call to me at bedtime, when we were traveling half way across America, and you'd wrap me tight in your arms, and I fell asleep like that. In nothing but your warmth and your arms, and all your showing me how much you loved me.
I love you that much, too.