My daughter turned 11 today. I’ve talked a lot about it on Facebook today, posted a couple pictures and so on and so forth. What I haven’t had a chance to say is how glad I am I have a daughter. Not that I wouldn’t have loved a son just as much, but I will always say that there is something special about a father and his daughters. I think that goes double for a father and his only daughter and then times 100 when that only daughter is also the only child. I can hardly believe that she’s 11 since, as Heidi and I have been joking today, we only brought her home from the hospital a few days ago. It sounds corny, but it’s true – the time goes by so fast. I’m horribly sentimental when it comes to my kid – sue me if you think that’s weird. I was driving by the Lincoln Center Hy-Vee the other night and remembered how, when we first moved here, she would see the sign and say “look Mom, that spells ‘grocery store'” when it clearly spelled Hy-Vee. I sometimes miss those days, but mostly, I love the smart and brave young woman that she has become. We have our disagreements and we definitely have our moments, but for the most part, I am very devoted to her. I think I feel it especially urgently now as she is on the cusp of being a teenager and I remember how I was as a teenager – as most teenagers are – dreadfully embarrassed of my parents. It won’t be long before it won’t be cool to go to Orange Leaf with her dad for a date. But who knows. Maybe it’ll always be cool.
I snapped this photo of us in late September when we were at Jeff and Caryle’s joint birthday party. The sun was pretty much gone and the only light came from the street lamps. We were in a park and as we were standing on the playground equipment talking, I couldn’t help but capture this moment.
No matter how old she gets, she’ll always be my kid. I love you kiddo.