Time is a very cruel thing. When you combine the ever moving beast of time with the fragility of life, add to that the parental responsibilities of providing both financial and emotional support to your family and children and you lose something very important: perception.
Tonight my daughter Emily played in a middle school band performance, her first really big performance in her new school as a flutist. This event triggered pride in my child for having the discipline to learn and play an instrument, being part of a team, and the responsibility those involve. It also triggered a thought in my head that made me realize I probably owe my daughter an apology.
With all of the responsibility of parenting and through my own natural selfish tendencies, I didn’t notice when my daughter stopped being a little girl and started to become a tweenager on her way to young adulthood. I know that there were signs of this transition, from the intermittent viewing of Disney and Nick programming with the playing of Legos and other toys. Some point in the last 18 months, though, my kid started to not be a “child” and I didn’t see it happen. She started to become conversationally witty, and I see my and my wife’s humor being given back to us. She’s incredibly creative, and loves to make and craft things. She volunteers at the same ranch where she takes riding lessons, and she’s one of the youngest volunteers they have had because she is responsible and hard working.
I’m extremely proud of the person that Emily is becoming, and her sister has taught me that I need to stop and treasure these moments as well. If I don’t pay close attention I’ll miss when she transitions into young adult and adulthood too.
There’s a lesson in life everywhere you look, you just have to be smart enough to see it.