I don't regret the fact that I was the one to stop working to raise Ruthie. When we brought her home from the hospital I hovered over you every time you even held her. I knew you were her father and half responsible for her in every way, but I have to tell you, Martin, as far as I was concerned, she was really all mine. I made her baby food, I picked out her toys and her clothes, I took her to school every first day, I pulled her shades down for her naps, I took her to the doctor, I braided her hair and buckled her shoes and mounted her artwork on the refrigerator. And I wanted to. I wanted to. Once she got into the teen years, you and she seemed to get closer and that was fine with me, too. I had had my hands to her when she was still wet, was how I saw it. Now I could step back -- keep watching, but step back. And then back further.
She looked startled, like our little exchange had been suddenly tossed, then retrieved -- and no reason for either. But she took -- after a second -- the rope-end of talk I held out.