Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Saw a Little Girl

"Parenting is a stage of life's journey where the milestones come about every fifty feet."  ~Robert Brault
Baby Peanut, almost 1 year
I saw a little girl in church today. A baby girl. Her hair was just starting to grow. She couldn't have been more than six or eight months old. I can't tell the age of babies as well as I used to. I used to be really good at it. Then again, I don't have a baby anymore. I have you, my wonderful 5 year-old who's graduating pre-K this week.

I saw a little girl in church today. She was standing in front of the congregation among a group of parishioners who were all high school and college graduates. The pastor was giving them a special blessing. She's going to Princeton in the fall. She was one of your Sunday school teachers. We see her every time we go to the bookstore, because she works there. An impressive young woman. A role model.



Baby Peanut, 3 months
I saw a little girl in church today. It was Father's Day. It made me think of my first Father's Day as your dad. It was five years ago.  I saw a little girl in church that day too. It just so happened to be your Baptism day. So my first Father's Day was all about you. That was fine with me because without you, there is no Father's Day for me. You taught me how to be a dad more than the books and the doctors and the relatives and the blogs. (Yes, even the blogs.)

I never had to learn how to be a father. I had to learn how to be your father. Your dad. I'm still learning as we go. I know more than I did at the beginning. But I still have a long way to go. (Thus, Daddy Knows Less.) So do you. But I am having so much fun being your dad.
I've always been an in-your-face kind of dad

Even when we're not having fun. Even when you're not happy that I'm saying no. Even when I'm disciplining you. Sure, the laughter and the playing are great. But those tough times are when I feel the most fatherly. When I feel I am being the best dad I can. When I feel like I'm teaching you to be the person you can become. The person you will become. Smart, happy, independent, kind, generous, fun-loving.

I saw a little girl in church today. Her mom was holding her. She was clenching one of those teething toys that makes the crinkley sounds. I looked at that precious little baby girl. Then I looked at you. Sitting on our kneeler in your sundress and your flowing long blonde hair, immersed in your coloring sheets on the pew. And my eyes started to well up.

My girls and I on Father's Day
I saw a little girl in church today. A baby with her whole life in front of her.

I saw a little girl in church today. A young woman with endless possibilities, who can seemingly change the world for the better.

I see you in all of them.

I saw a little girl in church today. And it was you.

17 comments:

  1. Now you have gone and made me cry. It's a good cry though so no worries !!!! I miss my little girl ...

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    1. They grow up fast. A good cry is what the doctor orders sometimes. :-) Glad I struck a chord.

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  2. Very sweet, thank you for this. I have a little boy nearly two, and celebrating Father's Day with him and his dad is such a special gift. And It's my birthday. I still see that little girl sometimes in me.

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    1. Happy birthday! I see what you mean... sometimes I look at my 27 year-old niece and think, "Where did that little girl with the blonde curls go?"

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  3. This was a great little post, and it will make me look twice the next time I am at church.

    Also, I love guessing the age of babies. My daughter's only 2, so I haven't gotten too rusty yet. It always seems to impress the ladies if a man can guess the age of their kid...like it's some kind of superpower. Bet of all of you can guess the age of your own kid. Then it REALLY impresses your lady.

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    1. I did make it seem like I wasn't paying attention in church now, didn't I? hahahaha. I can assure you that was not the case.

      I had the old baby-age guessing thing down to a science. I was right every time. Now that we've been out of that stage so long I need to estimate.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Gina. Always a pleasure hearing from you!

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  5. Beautifully written. I'm happy you shared two posts in one day.

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    1. When I do two posts in a day, you know I'm gonna bring it. (And MEAN it.) Thanks!

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  6. Replies
    1. High praise from a fellow writer whom I admire. Thanks.

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  7. beautiful! I cannot wait for my husband to experience all of this wonder and amazement. So well done! Happy Father's Day, my friend. The world needs more of you.

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  8. Your comments mean so much to me because I know you're not full of sh!t. (Not to say anyone else who comments is full of sh1t. I'm just talking to Katy here, people.) Thank you thank you thank you. You and DH are going to make wonderful parents because you are both such great people. (Chitown here we come! winkwink.)

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  9. I just read this again, and I love it even more!!! You are such a wonderful dad and your Peanut (I have one of those too) is so blessed to have you!! Thanks for linking up again, it wouldn't be the same without you!

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    1. Thanks so much. So meaningful that you like this post enough to read it TWICE. Thank YOU for hosting the linky... love it!

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  10. Seriously? I'm hormonal enough already..now I'm crying..this was beautiful.

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