I’m not ready!
I knew this day would come, but that was almost 13 years ago and just like that, “SNAP!” the time has come and I’m not feeling ready.
I guess I hoped that time would slow down and I’d be able to prepare myself for what lies ahead. That’s the problem; I didn’t exactly prepare, so obviously, I’m not ready, yet how do you prepare for something like this? When are you really ready?
It sneaks up on you and before you know it, your little girl becomes a…a…I can’t even say it! GULP…This gigantic lump in my throat keeps getting in the way of me even being able to say the word. If I say the word, then its like everything up until this point will disappear,vanish, change and I don’t want it to.
But, it doesn’t matter what I want. No amount of hoping, wishing and praying will stop this train in motion. That’s what it feels like; a fast moving train that’s picking up speed and zipping down the tracks, blurring the view and making me feel dizzy. I’m heading towards a long, winding, tunnel of…”The Great Unknown.” Okay…I might be slightly over dramatic here…lol.
Honestly though, this parenting thing has got me in a heap again. Another transition, another phase and another season of celebration and challenge.
On April 10, 2016, my girl is going to become (insert a deep breath here) a…teenager. There, I said it. It shouldn’t be a big deal because I already have one teenager, phew, I said it again. Somehow this is a big deal because its my daughter. Don’t get me wrong. I had some struggle when my son turned 13, mostly because it meant I was getting old 😉 but this is time its different. I know what its like to be a teen girl, not a teen guy, so I guess I feel more angst. Perhaps its because my son wasn’t as keen on becoming a teenager as my
daughter is. She can’t wait to be legit, 13, an official teenager…I, on the other hand, can wait.
Here comes the “It feels just like yesterday” comments. Seriously, it’s true…it does feel just like yesterday when all she talked about were ponies, puppies and princesses. Now, all she talks about are pimples, periods and prom dresses.
It seems like yesterday that I was teaching her how to tie her shoes, write her name and comb her hair. Now, I’m teaching her how to do her laundry, text responsibly and shave her legs.
It feels just like yesterday that she sang silly songs, skipped through park and snuggled with me until we both fell asleep. Now, she sings radio songs with her headphones on, strolls through the mall and…wait a minute, come to think about it, she still snuggles with me, but now I’m the one who falls asleep.
Maybe all won’t be lost. Maybe this change won’t be so bad after all. Maybe I should be thankful that she is talking to me about what matters to her. Maybe she can teach me to do things I haven’t done before. Maybe she and I can still have fun and spend time together.
I can gain encouragement from Mary, the mother of Jesus. She knew that her baby boy would change the world, but she didn’t know exactly what was in store for him. When Jesus was born, Mary experienced many wonders and felt great joy, yet at the same time, I suspect she knew those moments wouldn’t last. Perhaps that’s why the Bible says, “Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and often thought about them” (Luke 2:19).
Even though I have to let my little girl grow up, I don’t have to let her go. Maybe I will just quietly treasure all these things, and let her be my little girl in my heart, while embracing the beautiful young woman that God is shaping her to become. Maybe I am more ready for this than I think.