Reality is beginning to set in for me. My daughters are growing up. I knew it would happen. I saw it happen to all the kids of my friends. Nobody seems to have been able to stop time so that we can hold on to these childhoods, just a little bit longer.
I do miss the days of Backyardigans and Little Einsteins, messy table settings, and telling bedtime stories and singing lullabies to my daughters.
A promise I made to myself, and I would think every parent would want the same, was to make sure that my children were not only prepared for their future, but would also be given as best an opportunity to get there. We should always want better for our children. I know that I do.
In recent years, homework assignments have become much more serious, and detailed. Social and recreational activities soon needed to be scheduled. And of course, shopping for clothing is no longer done at the Children’s Place or Justice.
The reality of growing up occurred recently as I took my daughters clothing shopping, partly to see if they could spend their Christmas gift cards, the other, with a specific task of choosing a dress for a school dance. I, as well as my opinion, have been replaced by sibling support. I get to participate only as a witness, only as a courtesy. Together, the two sisters decided which looks best on who. I am just driving them from store to store.
With both daughters in the final quarter of their secondary education, they are encouraged to begin to consider the direction in life that they want to take. My daughters are sisters, both are intelligent, and other than those facts, any comparison of the two is completely unfair to both. The ideas that both are considering for their futures could not be any more different from achieving higher education to job selection. How both get to their goals ultimately will be up to each of themselves. It is my job as their father, to make sure that they have the opportunities, and to help figure out how to get there. And I want only for them to have that success. And other than my health issues, it is the futures of my daughters that consume my time.
As both continue to progress, and earn their own individual accolades and achievements, I offer nothing less than praise and congratulations. Like any proud parent, admittedly I probably go overboard with the amount of “I am proud of you” I give to each of my daughters. Again, they are each their own person, their own personality, their own style, and their own future. But they are sisters. Most importantly, their achievements, have been because of their own hard work.
I should not be shocked by where I am at right now in parenthood. It is what drives me every day. My doctors have told me, together they will make sure that in spite of my health issues, I will get to see my daughters grow old. And in order to get there, that means accepting they are getting older as well.
I miss those younger years. But man… the memories I am making today are so worth it.