Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | August 7, 2013

Sweet 16, More Like Bittersweet!

In just a little over a week my daughter will turn 16.  That is a hard thing to wrap my head around for a couple of reasons.  First is because it seems like it was just yesterday that we were at the hospital watching her sleep while sucking on a pacifier that was bigger than her head.  Time then seemed to slow to a crawl as we enjoyed this wonderful gift from God.  To hold her in our arms and to be able to comfort her as she would cry her choppy, raspy little cry.  Watching her bright blue eyes wondering around the room as she tried to focus on all the people and objects in the room.  Time would then stop along with my heartbeat as I would put my finger onto her palm and her tiny little fingers would gently wrap around.  You could instantly feel the love and bond between a father and a daughter.  I knew there was nothing I wouldn’t do to protect her, guide her, and to let her know how much I loved her.  Then one blink later she was 5 and heading to school.  Another blink after that and she was 13 and in middle school, and a third blink later she is in high school starting her sophomore year and turning sweet 16.

The second reason her turning 16 is a hard thing to wrap my head around is because she will soon have her license and will be dating.  The problem is I don’t know which one of those two things I am having a harder time with.  Becoming a licensed driver is something we all grow up and do, but it is not until now that we understand the anguish and the worries our parents were feeling when it was our turn.  Being an EMT and seeing some of the accidents I have seen just adds to the torment and fear I have.  I know all I can do is my best to teach her the rules and safety of the road.  The rest will be up to her and God.

As for dating, this has always been a hard thing to accept.  This is when I start to see my little girl more as a young woman and that scares me.  Why?  Because a young woman wants more freedom which means more time away from her parents and more time with her friends or boyfriend.  It means letting loose of the reigns a little more in order for her to have that freedom. It means trusting her to be alone with a boy for a date and that she uses the things we taught her to make good judgments.  It also means that along with dating comes the possibility of her heart being broken when things don’t work out and no father wants that to happen.  In fact the father in me will want to go beat that boy to a pulp for breaking her heart but I know really the only thing I can do is to be there for her. 

When I was younger and would say something to the effect of “I wish it was ‘this day’ or ‘that day’”, my grandma, Nonnie, would tell me not to wish my life away.  She told me life went to fast to wish any day to be skipped.  I know now exactly what she meant by that.  Life has moved by so fast and I know one day soon my daughter will be moving out of our house and on with her own life.  So now I try not to wish for any day to be here sooner than it should.  I have my eyes wide open and I am doing everything in my power not to blink because I do not want to miss any of the little remaining time I have with her here at home.    

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