When I first heard Jessica Andrews sing “Who I Am”, ( I impulsively jotted out a parody about Stacy.

If she lives to be a hundred
And never sees the seven wonders
That’ll be alright—
If she doesn’t make it to the big leagues
If she never wins an Addie,
She will be just fine—
Cause she knows exactly who she is:
She is Lilyan’s granddaughter
The spitting image of her mother,
But when the day is done her father’s still her biggest fan…”

In the decade since, nothing’s changed. My Little One is still the pause that refreshes, sometimes frustrates (but in a good way), and is always pure.  As such, what a wondrous weekend Chicago was! One day: Luce, Bones and Stacy; the second twenty-four just with my baby.


—She is Lilyan’s granddaughter.

Lil Selzer was loyal to a fault. Tough she could be, but always nurturing. Her strong suit: the priority she placed on family. (Ed. Note 1: Back in the 70’s I penned her too a parody. “God Bless The Nathans” was an homage to my mother-in-law’s ancestral clan).  Rooney’s no different. Alongside her husband, jointly they dote on their daughter, focusing (always) on family.

—The spitting image of her mother.

“Dad,” she said nicely last weekend, “The mat in the bathroom goes OUTSIDE the shower.”
“I know,” came my response, (well I recalled the last flood I’d caused).
“And Dad….The plastic shower curtain goes INSIDE the tub.”
“Thank you Daddy.”
(Ed. Note 2: Maybe it’s me. Well I recall the flooded tile after my first New Jersey shower. It was Passaic, 1970).

—And when the day is done her father’s still her biggest fan!

Friday meant playing/reading with Luce and traditional Shabbos sushi. Still, it only set the table:

Saturday meant ballet with Lucy, lunch as a foursome, and then: just me and Roon…

I had never been to Guthries (sic), but since Stace noted it was one of her favorite places, it was “Game On.” (Ed. Note 3: Pun specifically intended. This shot and a beer joint features a coterie of board games; patrons sit competing, and some even drinking).

Anyone watching our Scrabble match would have laughed, smiled and rolled his eyes. It didn’t matter who would win (though I was stunned when she did), and it didn’t matter the score (though the margin did shock me). What counted ONLY, was the joy shared through our joint mishigos!

I don’t want to say we were competitive, but JEEEEZ…did not her very first word mandate a challenge?

“Breasty is not a word,” I asserted.
“Yes it is.”
“Google it,” I demanded.
“I’ll call Jason.”
“Great, I urged, confidently doubling down: “Call anyone.”
“Jason doesn’t answer. Again.”
“Call ‘Sarah’,” I urged. (Ed. Note 4: Jamie Silverman Goodman was her staunch ally, yet I knew she’d shoot straight).
(And moments later, a verdict)
“It’s not a word,” confirmed Jamie.
“Go figure,” I noted, as our laughter began….

My lovely daughter would call her friend FOUR times the next hour. FOUR times she would dray her friend’s cup with nonsense, (perhaps sensing that if she threw enough against the wall, something might stick).

“Jamie says ‘Nah’ is a word,” beamed my daughter, at a pivotal point.
“She fell on her sword for you,” I thought, the three letters putting a nail in my coffin.

I’m not Stacy’s biggest fan, though, because she coaxes victories and smiles and love and friendship. Nor am I her biggest fan because I see so much of me in her. (That’d be ego). No, I am her biggest fan because —like a select few of friend and family in this world — it matters not what we do, so long as we do it together.

I marvel from afar as she balances business with pleasure; I beam brightly with pride watching her wife and mother; and I warm inside as she speaks of her brother.

I didn’t sleep on the flight back as I usually do. My heart and mind, you see, were consumed with gratitude. Living with the woman I love, tied to the business of Cleveland …still…twice in the past five weeks …I’ve been able to go 1 on 1 with one of my kids. Quality time. Together. No agenda but love.

(It makes the Cleveland weather even that more bearable).

(Ed. Note 5: Hours after our match at Guthries I texted Michael. “In Scrabble, is ‘nah’ a word”? I asked. Moments later his answer came:  “No”

Leave a Reply