I write this before New Year’s on the eve of our 14-year-old daughter’s high school Winter Ball. I’ve come to the realization that I’m not ready to let her grow up. Seems like just yesterday we were goofing around, where I was mimicking some hip-hop dance moves and she was trying to record me on her iPhone. Wait a minute, that was yesterday.
I would say that we have a great father-daughter relationship. I cheered her team on through a basketball game this past Saturday. She was one of three girls left on the court after the rest of the team had fouled out. After much prayer, parental sideline support, good coaching and teamwork, they still won the game.
A few weeks ago her mother and I watched as her cheerleading squad took third in the state finals, and from what I understand, the first time the school had placed in this competition, at least in recent years. Oh, and she’s been holding a 3.9 grade point average. Like her older brother, she’s destined for great things. That’s why this Winter Ball thing has me both happy and sad.
The other night she tried on her entire outfit, fixed her hair and my wife directed some subtle makeup. She walked out of the bedroom and said, “Daddy, how do I look?” She took my breath away. It was like my first date with her mother. I was picking her up, and she came out of the back porch of her parent’s house. She stood at the top of the steps under a porch light and looked like a contestant for Miss Portugal.
Upon seeing that my daughter had become a young lady, the call for support went out. Our 22year-old son said he was catching the next flight home out of San Francisco. Her uncles and our family friend’s sons heard and were on their way. It was like The Seven Samurai or Shootout At the OK Corral. Her “protectors” were assembling, even though her date appears to be a nice young man, he is good-looking and a football quarterback.
It won’t be easy, but I guess I have to let go of her delicate little hand, at least just this once. Besides, her first-team security defense will be in full force namely, her mother.