Holden loves dancing, and he loves girls who dance. Jane dances ballet. When Holden gets to New York, he hits the ballroom to listen to the band and dance with somebody. He finds a "dopey girl."
My daughter has been dancing since she was in kindergarten. When I watch her onstage now, it breaks my heart. She's no longer that dopey little girl in the pink leotard anymore. She's graceful, beautiful, grownup. Every time she leaps in the dance studio, she goes higher and higher, further and further. She's dancing away from me, as it should be. That's a parent's job--to raise a child until that child doesn't need you any longer.
Tonight, I was helping my wife price baby clothes for a clothing resale this weekend. It was one of the most depressing tasks I've ever done. I kept on coming across outfits my daughter wore when she was a baby. I could actually still see her in some of them. I kept pressing them to my nose, expecting them to smell like her baby lotion. (They didn't. They smelled dusty, like a storage bin.) I'm feeling a little nostalgic, in case you haven't noticed.
I miss my little girl. The one who used to climb into my lap, put her head on my shoulder, and fall asleep, snoring little snores against my neck. Things weren't simpler back then. They were new, fresh, exciting. There were still problems. Big ones. But I had my princess who looked up at me like I was Prince Charming. Maybe King Charming.
I know I'm doing my job. My daughter is a strong, independent young lady. She doesn't rely on her old man so much. She has all the answers. At least, she thinks she has all the answers. I'm not as smart as I used to be. In a few years, I'm sure I will have learned a whole lot. Probably around the time she's 20 or 21.
In the mean time, I'm going to have to depend on You to watch over her, keep her safe. She really is a precious child. Loving. Kind. Smart.
Keep her safe, Big Guy.
Your loving child,
|When did she get so big?|