It’s not too often that I’ve wished that I was of the female persuasion. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love ‘em to death but there are just some conversations that need to stay between them and them alone and not involve those of us who possess the Y chromosome. You can call me old fashioned, you can call me insensitive. Shit, for all I care, you can call me a caveman but there comes a day when, no matter how much you know it’s coming or how much you try and prepare for it, you’re just not ever going to be ready for it. I guess it’s easy to ignore the inevitable if you choose to but when it comes, and believe me it will, it’s hard not to notice it.
The wee one, well, even though she’ll always be my little girl, in the eyes of the world, she isn’t going to be “wee” for too much longer. Suffice to say that she’s starting to mature and with that maturity there are certain things that come along with the territory. It seems that the “blossoming” has begun and her physical appearance is on the verge of shifting. I’m guessing that any talks surrounding the topic best involve her and her mom. For once, I’d truly be left speechless or I’d say something so clumsily that I’d embarrass her and make a fool of myself for a long time to come.
Who says change needs to take a long time? Maybe because of my situation of being a single dad splitting time with their “little girl”, I take notice of many things others in a traditional family might take for granted or the conversation that surrounds the issue is better left to the other half.
Things such as “How much taller she looks than the last time” echo silently in my brain. Things such as how her outlook and attitude towards life have grown subtlety over the years and how things that once seemed to be the most important a mere year ago now seem somehow trivial.
Even though it hasn’t officially happened just yet, I already long for the days when stuffed animals and soccer balls dominated our talks. When questions that were asked about certain topics were easily brushed off with a vague answer that went something along the lines of “You’ll find out when you're older” and that was the end of it. When circuses and ice cream cones took precedence over such things as boys and fashion. When she talked to her friends on the phone out in the open rather than behind the closed doors to her room and when the only company that was required was the two of us.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that there were bedtime stories and the only fear that you had was learning to ride a two wheeler? When the comfort of a night light in your room would ward off the most evil of nightmares and breakfast seemed to consist of a series of giggles? When even the most simple of things was looked upon with a sense of awe and wonder and the most complicated of things seemed to be the most simple? When hurt feelings were easily soothed with a with a reassuring hug and any scars that you might carry were easily concealed by a Band-Aid? When everyday seemed sunny and cloudless and when bugs were nice and boys were gross?
Yes, my little girl is growing up. In some ways, she’s shedding some of her childhood and moving forward. Always forward. I hope one day she recalls the days gone by with a sense of fondness and warmth and that her dad didn’t do or say anything to screw them up.
I guess I better start letting go a bit and do some more growing up of my own.