Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I Miss

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." -Dr. Seuss

Every day, you amaze me. Every day you do something, big or small, that makes me realize how much you've grown up already. And while you still have a long way to go, it's mind-boggling to think how far you've come.

You started pre-K earlier this month. You knew it was a big deal, that now you're a big girl. Even though you still go to the same building you've been going to for three years, you and I both know pre-K is a huge step.

I used to roll my eyes at the parents who said they couldn't stop the tears from flowing at pre-K graduation. Then at the end of the school year I saw the bulletin board with all of the pictures of the pre-K kids as babies. I almost lost it right there. And you've still got a full year of pre-K left until that's your baby picture up there. I'm going to be such a mess.

It seems like I blinked and you stopped being my baby. Even though I still call you that. Even though every time I do you correct me and tell me you're a little girl now. You've been calling yourself that for years. But now it's true. You're such a little girl and I love it and I love you so much.

You're gaining your independence. Writing your name. Dressing yourself. Brushing your teeth. Washing your hands. Going to the bathroom. All by yourself.

You're fearless. Riding the rides at the amusement park without hesitation. In fact, you love them and beg for more. We were nervous when you stood in line to go on your first roller coaster with one of your older cousins. Even though it was a kiddie coaster, we just didn't know how you'd react. What were we so worried about? All you did was laugh the whole time. Every time you passed us you looked like you were having the time of your life. A few weeks later at Great Adventure, you sat in the front seat on the Log Flume. You were giggling uncontrollably. Even on that last, big drop. You were soaked. And you wanted to go again.

The next day, I brought you to the playground, and caught you climbing this:
That little  boy was stalking you and you wanted no part of him
When did this happen? I'd never seen you do that before. You were always so cautious. So calculating. So careful. Not anymore.

You're growing up so fast. There are so many things I miss so much already.

I miss holding you, without you desperately trying to get away. I miss sitting in the rocking chair in your room and singing you to sleep. I miss singing you whatever I wanted. I miss when you were finally old enough to choose, and you chose "Thunder Road" every time. I thought that was so cool.

Now, singing isn't a part of the bedtime routine anymore. On the rare nights you're having trouble falling asleep, you ask me to sing you "Goodnight My Angel." That's fine. That song means a lot to your mom and me. It's the song she and Pop Pop danced to at our wedding after all. Maybe we'll do the same someday.

You're gaining your confidence. Almost swimming on your own now. I don't even go into the pool with you at swim class anymore. When we're not at swim class, you don't cling to me and demand I hold you in the water. That happened just this summer. On our last vacation, you were going under without us even asking you.
I miss giving you a bath... when giving you a bath was peaceful. When we would sing that ridiculous song "It's Naked Baby Time" to the tune of "It's Howdy Doody Time." You would get all excited, and we would walk you into the bathroom while holding your hands over your head and you would dance to that ridiculous song. I miss that.

I miss having your undivided attention. I miss sitting you somewhere and talking to or playing with or singing to you. Now, you're running wild all over the place. Asking us to do multiple things, play multiple roles, in multiple rooms.


Now you demand OUR undivided attention. Sometimes you ask to be left alone. There's that independence again.

You're getting so big. You're growing up so fast. I miss those times when you were little. But I'm so glad I'm not actually missing anything.

5 comments:

  1. As one father of a daughter to another, I know and feel exactly as you. Daughters change us at our core and never stop finding ways to make us smile, to take pride in their accomplishments or even to grumble in their independence; as they grow older. Great post DKL and thanks for sharing.

    Munch

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  2. Beautifully said! It always nice to remember the past and look forward to the future but most important to be in the present. You'll never miss a thing that way. She's a good kid that Peanut!

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  3. Such a sweet post and i can relate to it so much, not so much with my oldest since i brought her up since she was 9 years old, but certainly when it comes to the boys. It's amazing how much you miss the small things that don't seem important to the child anymore, but still hold a very important place in your heart.

    Great post mate.

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  4. Thanks guys. I think it's cool that the first batch of comments are from dads. Rock on.

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