“Kids, it’s time for Daddy to man up.”
My Dearest Children,
My oh my how the time has come and gone. Would you believe that Daddy can still remember your very first cries? Your very first smiles? Your very first farts? Yes, Daddy remembers a lot of your firsts. It seems like just yesterday that I held you in my arms, ever worrying that I would do something wrong. I thought you were so fragile. In retrospect, it was I that was so fragile.
It’s true. Daddy worries way too much about you. In my mind, the worst possible scenario is always the greatest possibility. Due to this fact, I have become over protective of you. Instead of encouraging your growth and independence, I have hindered it to a degree. I have failed to let you grow up, because I have failed to do so.
It is so hard for me to accept the time that has already passed me by. It’s hard for me to see that you are not just my little babies anymore. But you are my growing children. You are a little man and woman who are really becoming their own. The days off “goo goo gah gah” and bottles are long gone. To tell you the truth, it makes Daddy kind of sad. Not because I don’t want you to grow up, but because I don’t know how to take it all in.
Little Dude, this evening I realized that it was time to let you ride solo. Literally. I watched as you rode away from me on your Diego bike, and took off with the ‘big kids”. The smile on your face just lit my world up. I could tell that you felt free, excited, nervous, and adventurous. As much as I wanted to keep you near my bubble, I had to let you ride on. Of course, don’t think you are free to go to the movies. Though it seemed far away to you, I still keep you where I can see you. That’s my job. My job is changing though, as you change as well. I realize that my job now is more of an assistant, and not so much of a boss.
Little Dudette, today I realized what it is you have been trying to accomplish with your antics recently. Don’t think it’s okay now to color on a dvd, or the walls, or the couch, or the fridge, or my clothes. Because that’s still just not cool. What is cool is that now I get it. You have been trying to grab my attention that I have had devoted to too many other things. Today I realized how much I have been missing our breakfast picnics, our walks through the complex, and our time coloring in your books. I realize how much I have caused you to miss out on by missing out on it myself.
Kids, it is time for Daddy to man up. I am sorry that I have not been the dad you need me to be right now. I am sorry I have failed to show you that I accept who you are becoming. And I am sorry that I have stood in the way of your growth. You are my children. And you always will be. Nothing and nobody can take that away from us. We are family. and my love for you will never die or fade.
So with my blessings, grow and explore. Go out and see the world. A grand stage it is to you. Play the role you want to. Daddy will be behind you every step of your way. I will always be here to turn back to if you get too scared. I will be here to encourage you when you are ready to try something new. And I will be here with the same loving and open arms that welcomed you into this world.
Lead, and I will follow.
*Kids’ Photo Credits: These pictures were taken by my good friend Bob using a Samsung Fascinate Android Phone. Thank you Bob for sharing these great pics with me, and capturing the moments so well!*