Will You, Daddy?I've seen a change in my 8 year old daughter over the summer (she will soon be 9). I can sense a maturing of her personality as well as her physically looking less like a little girl. I understand that she must grow up and yet, I dread that it is happening so quickly. Almost 9 years old? It seems like only yesterday that she was crawling around my home playing hide and seek with me. Where has the time gone?
I also notice that she treats me a *little differently compared to last year. She is a little more independent and a little less likely to seek my attention since she has other things to occupy her time such as dancing, cheering and (groan) even little boys.
I am able to put these changes in perspective since I have 2 older daughters and I've been through this stage before. But, still, it is on my mind and I am not happy about (again) learning to adjust to a daughter who once was all about daddy, but is becoming less-so by the day. It's hard for me, to be honest because, quite possibly she will be my last child. So this is it for me as far as I know. I want it to last a little longer.
Imagine my delight as I was walking her to her class recently. I had gotten her up late for school and so we were--well, late for school. We arrived and I parked my car so I could take her to the office and sign her in. As I finished filling out the tardy form, I was prepared to send her to class by herself, but she asked me to walk her to her class instead. It was sweet of her to ask me, I thought, and so I walked her without hesitation.
Her class is not in the main building. We had to walk all the way around the cafeteria, through the rear parking area and to a portable class room near the far edge of school property. It was a pretty good stroll and took us several minutes to get back there. We were able to talk a little along the way and I enjoyed the extra few minutes I had with her. As we approached the door way to her portable classroom, I reached out and handed her the tardy slip.
"Here's your pass, honey. Have a good day."
I put my arm around her shoulder and hugged her. She is not yet at the "don't hug me" stage, so it wasn't surprising that she allowed me to hug her as a few other late students passed by. But I was a little surprised at a request she made of me before going in to class.
"I wish you could walk me to class everyday. Will you daddy?"
My heart just melted right there where I stood. I couldn't believe she was asking me. I didn't wait long to answer her.
"Are you kidding me? I would love to! Now get to class before you get in trouble. And don't tell your teacher that daddy overslept. Tell her-- that there was a tornado or something." I grinned at her.
"Oh daddy!" (Smiles) She took her back-pack off of my shoulder and put it around her arms. "Bye daddy." We exchanged "i love you", and off she went to class.
As I walked back to my car, across the parking lot, under the oak tree with the large hanging branches, around the cafeteria where the smell of fresh baked bread wafted through the open doors, a smile came across my face. She was still my little girl after all, even if just for a little while longer. I can't explain just how happy that makes me feel. :)