One Step Closer to “Grown Up”

Well, today is the day.

It’s a day I’ve had to prepare myself for, but even so, I’m not sure I’m there. At least not all the way.

Today, my daughter is getting her ears pierced.

Now, I understand that to some people, this may not be a big deal. But you have to understand…I’ve been resistant to this for quite a while. It seems a lot of little girls her age have already had their ears pierced. In fact, my unscientific survey leads me to conclude that most of them have. Still, there’s something about the whole thing that I’ve wanted to keep at bay. I think we push our kids to grow up too quickly. And this is a huge bridge to cross, at least to me. She’s been BEGGING me to get this done. And I know I’ve been fighting a losing battle. It’s one of those inevitable steps. But I still don’t like it. It’s just one step closer to “grown up”.

I’m certainly not trying to pass judgment on those parents who’ve chosen to do this at a younger age. I’m just saying that as my daughter’s father, I’ve not wanted to accelerate her movement toward young adulthood. And for me, this is a HUGE step. I know it’s inevitable and that I’m just being sentimental. But if you can’t be sentimental when it comes to your daughter, then something is deeply wrong with you.

Last night we watched some old home videos of the kids. My daughter and her twin brother were so small, their voices so tiny. In the video, she had those fat little cheeks that I remember. Blond curly hair. In the video, I could scoop her up with one arm and spin her around. She’s right there in our living room, wearing her PJ’s and saying the books of the Bible. I can still hear her little voice as she struggles to say “Doo-Ter-On-Ah-Meee”, as she beams with pride saying the Pledge of Allegiance. And when she’s done, she comes running to my arms, Daddy’s Little Girl.

And now, we’re about to go to Claire’s (wherever that is) and I’ll pay good money so some stranger can jab a needle in her earlobe.

Sigh.

Like I said, I knew this day would come. It’s a milestone for her. But it’s a milestone for me, too.

If she’s one step closer to “grown up”, then I’m one step closer to letting her go.

And that’s hard when she’s “Daddy’s Little Girl.”

I’ll probably have to watch that video again tonight.

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