I know I talk a lot about getting older and watching the kids grow up. I think that is only natural so I am not going to apologize for it. In fact, I’m going to do more of it. The photo at the top of this post used to hang in the cubicle in my office back when I worked for Habitat For Humanity. My daughter Jamie drew it for me when I was talking about getting a tattoo. I smiled and hung it on the wall but I never really considered getting it done. She actually drew several pictures for me to get tattooed but they never made it either. Looking back on it now, I kind of wish I had done at least one of them. I know tattoos are one of those issues that many of us disagree on and I really don’t want to debate it at the moment. This post is about Jamie, not my ink.
The picture, if you haven’t figured it out, is Jamie holding my hand. There is a really large red sun next to us so we may be at the beach, I’m not exactly sure. Believe it or not, she actually got pretty close to what my hair looked like at the time. I was going through a shaggy phase and I think she accurately captured it. When I look at this picture I am filled with all kinds of thought and emotions. It’s a happy picture but it also makes me feel a little sad because she has grown up so much and those days are gone. Like I said, I kind of wish I had gone with this as my tattoo. It would be even more special than the ones I have.
I make no bones about it, Jamie always has been a Daddy’s girl. I don’t love her more than Geo or Chris and I have always tried to treat them the same. At the very least, I have tried to be fair, even if I haven’t always been impartial. I don’t know what it is about a daughter that makes us guys lose it. I think part of it is the idea that we have to protect her. The older she gets, the tougher it is. That makes me sad too. I know that she is slowly slipping into adulthood and those days when she was Daddy’s Little Girl are gone. I realize that she will ALWAYS be Daddy’s Girl on some level but…well…I don’t know how to explain it. All of you Dads who have gone through this know what I’m talking about.
I’ve talked about the journey our family began ten years ago when we decided to go back to Bible college. Jamie was just a couple of months old when we moved. She just turned ten. Where did that little baby go? Don’t get me wrong, I have similar feeling when I think about Geo and Chris. Geo was nine and Chris was not quite five when we packed up. Ten years. Geo is a Dad now, Chris is a strapping young lad, and Jamie is starting to look like a woman. I am thankful for that. I know so many people who did not have the chance to watch their children grow up. I don’t take it for granted. I am beyond blessed. I can’t wait to see what these kids do with their lives. Whatever is is, I want them to know that Daddy’s proud.
Grace and peace