Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Watching Her Grow Up

This past Tuesday, she walks into the library to drop off an application to work a volunteer shift. I stayed in the van watching her grow up before my eyes. She carries herself with sweetness and confidence and maturity. 

Saturday, as she's leaving for archery class, we hug and discover that it's official - she's taller than I am. I look up at her and we both smile, hers is a subtle-but-proud "YES!" kind of smile. Mine is more of a bittersweet acknowledgement, but mostly happy for her, because I know she loves it. We have a deal, the kids and I, that as they grow taller than me, they'll always look out for their little mom.

She is hungry for more learning, more experience, more insight. Mature beyond her years, yet such a kid at heart, she asks us things that keep us on our toes and awe us with her thinking. She is driven - always writing, always thinking. She cooks. She creates. She runs around and climbs trees. She reads voraciously. She writes for one of the top writing websites on the Internet. She teaches herself guitar.

This morning, I hear THIS SONG on my iPod and get weepy listening to it as I eat breakfast with my kids. I loved that song growing up - Peter Cetera is one of my all-time favorites. Listening to that song as a parent? Good luck not crying. It's upbeat and all, but (*sniff sniff*) it'll get you. 

So, I take my beautiful daughter to her first volunteer shift. She got herself up and ready on her own, so excited for this very grown up responsibility and opportunity. She has her hair combed beautifully and she is wearing her "Self-Rescuing Princess" T-shirt, mismatched socks (she started doing that long before it was a trendy thing to do), and pink Chucks.

It started snowing hard as we took this picture

Mark stops in after his morning shift at the hospital to see how she's doing. She is shelving DVDs when she looks up and sees him, smiles, and says, "Hi! This is fun!"

She is growing up before my eyes - tall, mature, hilarious, confident, beautiful, sarcastic, smart. She plays violin with grace, kicks butt with her black belt in tae kwon do, giggles hysterically when horsing around with her brother, reasons with insight, cracks jokes with quick timing, writes with talent beyond her years.

And she just melts me. She is loving and compassionate, witty and smart, insightful, passionate, and strong. She thinks things through, develops her own feelings and beliefs on weighty matters, and takes action - raising awareness, donating money, writing to legislators.

Celebrating her first day of volunteering with lunch out
She is growing up before my eyes. She is wonderful and good and amazing. She makes the world a better place.

She is good to her family, her dog, her friends, strangers, children, animals. She is my daughter and my friend. And I constantly feel so over-the-moon lucky that I get to be her mom and watch her grow up right before my eyes.


Zelia said...

Ditto to all you wrote. She is awesome. I wish I had also asked to "care for your little Mommy.". It reaaly sucks to be alone, especially today. I do not celebrate 2-20 anymore. It hurts. Great post.

Dr. Mark said...

Wonderful post. That song always gets to me, too. You know this, but I'm having a very tough time watching our kids grow up so quickly. It's a bittersweet feeling to say the least. Having such a great daughter, who is everything you've said and more, makes it a joy to be a father.

And no matter how tall she gets or how accomplished or how much smarter she becomes than I am (not much distance to cover there), she will still always be the little 6-pounder that I could hold in my one hand, who grabbed my finger so tightly and wouldn't let go.

Thank you for a great post.

The Magic Violinist said...

Well it'll be easier to look out for my little mom now that I'm taller, won't it? ;)

I can't wait for next week to volunteer again! :D

Jimmy said...

This post makes me smile. I love that she's already taller than you. God puts some pretty wonderful people in this world. She's one of them.

Dave Johnson said...

Kate's awesomeness continues to expand as she gets older. She's such an inspiration to our boys - if Kate likes it, it must be worth checking out. She's a bit of an old soul, huh?

Dave Johnson said...

Kate's awesomeness continues to expand as she gets older. She's such an inspiration to our boys - if Kate likes it, it must be worth checking out. She's a bit of an old soul, huh?

Robynne said...

What a wonderful girl - being a parent is such an awesome responsibility and blessing! You wrote about it so eloquently as always!!

Emily Foley said...

Sounds like she got kind of lucky in the parenting department, too.

Boquinha said...

Awww, thanks, everyone. Such nice comments!