It is inevitable. It is something parents have to go through. A child turning18.
Over the years, it has gone unnoticed by my daughters how many photos I have taken of them over their childhood. It is safe to say, thousands. They definitely notice now, and get teenage-level annoyed as I attempt yet another photo. I try to explain to them, that I feel bad, as there are not many pictures of me with my parents to reflect on. I want these pictures for them in the future. And for me right now.
I spend a lot of my time, looking over time. Time from when each daughter was placed into my arms to today. I do this mainly in between visits with them, not being able to see them every day.
I realize, just because my daughter is turning 18, becoming an adult, she is always going to be my daughter. I get that. But right now, the world is not ready, or worthy of a child with such a beautiful and kind heart. By the same token, the world does need someone like her, now, more than ever.
I have been celebrating with her this week, and she will turn 18 next week with her mother. The next time I see her, she will be my adult child. Gone are the days of reading bedtime stories, amusement rides, and lots of giggles being shared. Now I have to hope that I have done all I can as a father to teach her the important things that will help her in life, from relationships, to careers, to money management, to being happy.
As a DJ, I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons doing weddings, and playing songs for Fathers and the brides, and annual Daddy/Daughter Dances. And during each, I had the opportunity to play songs that would forever last in each and every dad’s heart as they heard it, and danced with their daughter. As I look through the photos of my daughters, this soundtrack plays with an endless loop. I love both of my daughters to the ends of this earth. And as one becomes an adult, I am going to cling on to my other teen, for as long as I can.
So, I would like to share some special lyrics I have heard over the years.
Trace Adkins – “You’re Gonna Miss This”
“You’re gonna miss this. You’re gonna want this back.
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast.
These are some good times. So take a good look around.
You may not know it now. But you’re gonna miss this.”
Thomas Rhett – “Remember You Young”
One day, you’ll move away, but you’re still gonna stay this innocent after you’re gone.
For worse or for better, from now ’til forever, I’ll always remember you young.”
Daddy’s little girl is growing up in the world. You’ll never be one again.”
Go on, take on this whole world, but to me you know you’ll always be my little girl.”
But time waits for no one. It never will. Your gonna leave me soon enough.
I’m just sad ’cause you’re growing up. Held you in my arms so tight.
I’d never forget the best years of my life.”
A precious gem is what you are, you’re daddy’s bright and shining star.”
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by, he’s trying to hold on, it won’t be like this for long.”
Little girls get married and give their dinosaurs away.
And from a thousand miles away I’ll hear her on the stairs again,
I touched heart, spread my wings and said, “All the way to there”.”
“You wrapped me ’round your finger, your smile made me melt.
I wished so many times I would’ve told you what I felt.
From your first steps to sweet sixteen, the rush of memories feels like a dream.
I see the woman in you, but for my whole life through, you’ll always be my little girl.”
Happy birthday to my “ting ting”.