Today my little girl turns 17. I am not sure how this happened, since it seems she was just born last Thursday, but here we are. I know I am not the first Dad out there that has felt the shock of a growing daughter, but this is my first little girl, and this is my blog, so if you want to continue to read, then you will just have to pretend I am or at least hold your tongue for now. I’ll take comments in the box below.
So, I guess the way that I want to do this is to speak to my daughter. All you other folks won’t mind if I do that, will you? I thought not. You are welcome to listen in, but please, silence your cell phones so as not to disturb us.
I remember the day that your mom told me that you were on the way. I was working in the bakery and she had just finished working a night shift at the hospital when she stopped in and set a package of diapers on the front counter and told me that we were going to need those in 9 months. I was so happy, and the ladies that worked with me in the bakery were all hooting and hollering as well.
It was so exciting waiting with mom while you grew, and when the day came I was beyond words. I know I have told you that I wanted a boy, and since we didn’t know what was coming I was so surprised. I was the father of a daughter! The surprise to me was that I could not have been happier. You stole my heart right from the beginning.
We brought you home and then the race began. How can we put all the love for this little girl that we have into her before she grows up? Well, you made it easy. Your love of life, your sweet smile and your bright eyes made it easy for us to just pour it into you. We had so many nights of just sitting on the couch talking to you and playing with you. I loved that toothless grin!
As you grew and became more active our games would change. We would get our hats on and go for a cricket hunt. We would throw treats to Clyde the dog. We loved sitting in the living room at night, just the three of us and talk to you just to hear you talk to us. We were so amazed at how smart you were and how wide your vocabulary was. You have continued to amaze us!
I blinked one day and you grew again. You had become old enough to start taking care of animals. So, we started something that I had no idea would turn into what it has today. Your love for the furry things that you took care of has been so great to watch, because it is just a natural outpouring of the love that God has put inside you.
Of course, the furry things have gotten bigger as you have gotten bigger, but it has proven to be an indicator of the passion you have for seeing things through and being accountable for your responsibilities. I have been so proud of the way that you have practiced through smiles and tears with your horses. I have enjoyed watching you just hang out with them in the pasture as you so often do in the summer. I love seeing your happiness in the creatures God has given us.
Now you are 17. It is so satisfying to see the beautiful young lady that you have turned into. Your mom and I have said for years that we have been blessed with great kids. We gave you discipline when you needed it, and love all the time, but we truly have been blessed. Not just because you are so pretty and smart, but because God has done and is continuing to do a work in your heart.
I am so thankful that you know Christ, and that you have a relationship with Him that is yours, not one that you have borrowed from me or mom. I think that is what has made you so beautiful on the inside to go along with the beautiful young lady that you are. God has big plans for you, this I know. He has not shown us the whole picture, but I know that He is excited about the things He has for you. I am too.
I said earlier that I was afraid I would never be able to pour all of my love into you before you grew up. I know now that I never will. That is a life long job for me. You are loved, daughter. Now and forever. Not jsut by me, but by your heavenly Father as well. I am so glad to be your Dad, but even more glad that you know Him too. Be relentless in your pursuit of Him and your dreams. Continue to search for you identity in Him and just bask in His love!
I love you, Squirt,