… time is steadily slipping through my hands. The way I see it, I have ten years left – and the clock is ticking down. I’m running out of time. As of this writing, you will turn eight tomorrow. You’ve been with your mother and I for over 3,000 days and not a single one of them have ever been less memorable than the one before. Try as I might, though, with every ounce of strength and selfishness, I am humanly incapable of stopping you from growing up. That, my dear daughter, is bittersweet at its core.
You see, I’m stoked to think of the adventures we’ll have and the memories we’ll share as your courage, intelligence, and abilities increase. At the same time, I really dig the person you are now. We talk about your favorite cartoons, pretend to be on epic quests, create silly refrigerator art, and share our thoughts and goals with one another. It’s not that I want you this young forever (well, part of me does. What 24-year-old still builds forts with her dad or excitedly asks him to take her out to the buoys?), it’s just that, well, I’m scared.
I’m scared that this will all someday change… that somehow, you will outgrown me the same way Andy does Woody and Buzz. Terror creeps over me as my thoughts move toward the road that lies ahead. Watching the world around me, it seems if it’s a foregone conclusion. But this daddy isn’t going down without a fight.
I must be intentional with the precious little time I have remaining. Therefore, as I’m prone to do, I’ve created a plan that will help me make the most of the time I have with you before you head out into a brave new world.
My plan is this: Live in the “Is,” not the “Was.”
As each new day brings about its own unique experiences, challenges, and choices, I will
do my best to be present in this moment. I hope to teach you new things at every turn of life, and when the moment arises, challenge what you think you know just to keep you on your toes. Instead of longing for days gone by, like the first time you went to the beach or when you first realized how talented of an artist you are, I will realize that no memory could ever hold a candle to today because I have the real you, not just a memory. What could possibly be better than that?
Illustration courtesy of lookoutforhope.