Midnight approaches and I who am never at a loss for words is struggling to find the right ones. The ones that help me tell the story in a way that will help you understand.
You are going to turn ten tomorrow and if history has proven anything you’ll round home plate and keep running full speed towards the future because you have much to do and see and you are desperate to be older.
Of Dads and Daughters
You don’t understand why I tell you to enjoy whatever age you are and how I entreat you to be little for just a while longer. You tell me not to worry and say that you will always be my girl and then with that devilish grin you add, “until I find a boyfriend.”
I understand more than you know because even though I am a boy I am the one that watched you enter the world. I am the one that remembers your grandfather’s triple bypass two days before you were born. I am the one who asked your mother to keep her legs crossed during grandpa’s surgery because I couldn’t figure out where to focus.
You were upset the first time you heard that story but when mom told you I wasn’t serious you relaxed. Grandpa taught me well, had you decided to show up two days before you did I would have been there and checked in on grandpa later.
Sometimes I think you wanted to make a grand entrance and that is why you took your time but I don’t care because you were worth the wait.
Every year I try to write a post for your birthday. Every year I go through this struggle to come up with the right words about dads and daughters.
The point and the purpose is to give you a sense of who you are/were at each age and to give you a sense of what I thought and every year I feel frustrated because I haven’t done the job you deserve.
10 Years Proves You Can’t Stop The Clock
You can’t remember the look on my face when the nurse put you in the giant Pyrex dish and your little hand wrapped itself around my index finger. You don’t remember how I introduced myself to you as your daddy and promised to take care of you forever.
I remember walking your brother into the room and introducing you two. I told him that night he had to help me take care of you, that he would have to be your friend and sometimes protect you.
When I told you about that you rolled your eyes at me and said you could take him and I know you believe that.
You are my daughter in so many ways. Every time I watch you swim or play soccer I see this force of nature and I just smile.
People talk about how intense you can be when you go after the ball and I smile because that is me too. Yet there is so much of you that is just you too and I love that.
That first night when you held my finger I asked you if you would take your time growing up. You were this tiny little person with a mop of black hair.
I don’t know if you have noticed but as more of my black hair has left my head more has shown up on yours. Coincidence? I think not.
Thirty-five used to sound so very old to me. I don’t know why, but it did and when you were born I was worried about being an old father.
I wanted to be around to run with you and to play games. I didn’t want to be the dad that couldn’t do those things with his kids.
You won’t let me pick you up and dance to the Godfather Theme anymore. You told me you don’t like the music and that you are too big.
I didn’t fight you about it but I didn’t like it because time is moving too quickly. It won’t be long before you really are too big for that.
Doesn’t mean you can’t dance with your father but forgive the old man for not wanting to let go of that part of your childhood yet.
I Like A Boy
Two days ago you told me you liked a boy. You said his name was Harry and I told you that every Harry I had ever known was a bad guy.
You laughed and said I would say that about any boy you liked and I giggled.
“Don’t worry dad, he is in a band and I probably won’t ever meet him.”
I nodded my head when you said that but I didn’t ignore your words because I have watched you your entire life and one thing you share in common with me is a willingness to run through walls to get what you want.
One day some boy really will have your attention and you’ll think the sun rises and sets in his eyes. Part of my job is to figure out if he deserves that sort of attention or if it would be better if removed his ability to use his arms.
Some boy is going to be worthy of you. Some one is going to deserve to get all you have to give. I know that and I want you have that but I hope you’ll believe me when I say it is ok to slow down and take your time.
I hope you’ll do all you can to live your dreams and not dream your life.
I hope you’ll remember that sometimes your parents make mistakes but that we have always done our best to do right by you guys.
And I hope you never forget that I love you and will always be here to help.