The Author's Perogative
My daughter celebrated her 16th birthday yesterday. HRH is growing up- has grown up- a whole lot faster than I ever could have imagined on the day she was born.
The fact of the matter is, I'm not sure who has grown more in the last 16 years, me or her.
Her growth was inevitable. Learning to walk, speak- well, just growing up will happen one way or the other. My growth was less of a sure thing. There were decisions to be made, there had to be judgement calls and mostly, there had to be forgiveness to dispense, in great measure- at once the easiest and the most difficult thing to learn.
Despite our mistakes- hers as she learned and mine as I muddled my way through it all- we have reached this milestone with a certain closeness and a healthy dose of respect for each other. I like who my daughter is and who she is becoming. She is strong, for sure and she has managed to temper that with a sensitive side. What I am most proud of is that she doesn't seem to have a cruel streak in her. She can at times, be aloof if she wishes to disengage, but she is never cruel.
She knows and respects our values (my ex is a wonderful mother) and has adopted much of who we are into her own persona. It wasn't automatic. She had to process and see for herself the truth of those things we hold dear. That gives me a particular pleasure. She accepted for herself and has taken on, the things we wanted to teach her. Even more, in the process, she has taught me much. With her questions, she has made me think and at times, pointed out the things I take for granted and do in a rote manner. She questions everything and on more than one occasion made me rethink ideas that I hold (held) dear.
She is not boy crazy, but is interested. She is aware of her desire to jump right in and the understanding that may not be the right thing. She wrestles with that- and I think that is a good thing. She understands 'relationships' are about more than just physicality- and she wants that 'magic' for herself. We can only hope that she will continue to cherish that idea. I think she will. She is strong that way.
She is by nature, a modest young lady. She isn't prudish by any means ('Daddy, you know what a blow job is, right?'- I aged 5 years) but she has an inherent understanding that some things are private, her body being one of those things. I think that gets reinforced because the boys seem fascinated with her- much to the chagrin of her less clad friends. She knows how to flirt and how to 'keep the lid on.' I suppose she gets that from her mother. I'm clueless in that department.
I do admit to worrying she is growing up too fast. She will graduate from High School next month (she takes after dad in that dept) and a new chapter opens up. She will be going to university (my alma mater) and wonder of wonders, has decided she wants to study what I did. Like me, she has a facility with languages (she speaks 4, so far). I told her she was crazy but secretly, I'm so proud of her, I'm just ready to bust out.
It is true she is daddy's girl- I'm just crazy about her. Now doubt, I always will be. I remember the day she was born, like it was yesterday. My life changed at 4:12 AM that day. On that May 4, we gave each other life.
Happy Birthday, again, WTLG. Oh, and one more thing. I know a secret but I can't tell you.