Damn I feel old

So it’s been a while since I posted anything in this space.  I really haven’t felt much like writing.  Honestly, I haven’t felt much like anything.  I wake, I work, I sleep.  Besides the occasional dip into my few remaining hobbies, that’s about it.  I’ve been thinking a bit of late about my daughter.  She’s 16.  Wow!  How the hell did that happen.  You know, there was only ever one time in my life that I ever really contemplated having a child beyond the day mine was first introduced to me.  Beyond that brief period, I never really imagined myself as a family man.  I got married at a relatively early age and my wife wanted children so I thought, ok.  It was never really… real.  Then when we were told that we couldn’t have any, it didn’t really vex me.  My wife’s pain bothered me of course, but the idea that I wasn’t going to be a dad didn’t.

Of course, that all changed when they showed me that first ultra-sound.  It was amazing.  I’d looked at probably hundreds of those silly pictures and I always felt a bit like I do when I look at those supposedly 3-d pictures that you’re supposed to squint to see the actual picture?.?.  I have never seen anything in those either; but, people would show me an ultrasound and I would hmmm and haaaa and they’d tell me how beautiful the baby was and I’d think it looks like you need to tune it in a bit better.  Never the less when I saw Jenne-Lee on the ultrasound, I saw the most beautiful little tadpole I’d ever seen.  I was instantly hooked.

Later she and I would spend nights together watching Star Wars (or rather sleeping through it) after she’d eaten at Mom’s and had her pants changed.  I’d walk the floor with her a bit and then I’d crash on my recliner and turn on the TV.  Soon we were both out.

Now here we are sixteen years later and she’s got a boy friend.  She’s going on dates and sneaking around so that I don’t abuse him.  I get it of course.  I understand; though, while I’ve teased her a bit about the concept of boys, I’ve never really meant it.  I’m just not sure how I feel about the whole concept beyond the fact that I feel really old at the moment.  The grey in my beard looks all the more grey and the creak in my knees seems just a little louder.

I miss my baby.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly proud of the young woman she’s become.  She’s amazing.  She’s incredibly smart and talented.  She sings beautifully and she would have no trouble outsmarting the best and brightest.  She has big dreams and wants to change the world for the better.  She’s confident and frightened and comfortable in her own skin and yet self conscious at the same time.  She truly is the next generation.  Better than her parents in so many ways and yet so naive about how it all turns out in the end.

I look forward to each day with her in it as she explores the next steps to adulthood and I panic about what she might do next.

I guess I’m a parent.  It seems silly to say I don’t know how that happened, but…

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