While the household prepared for Mass on a bright Sunday not long ago, I noticed, seemingly for the first time, that my girls had become young women.
When #1 walked into the front room ready for Mass, wearing a long skirt and elegant top, I thought, my little girl grew up without me. Now, I am sure my family might wonder where I have been. Apparently, my girls have been this way for some time. But it is the truth. Before I knew it, they had grown up around me.
I said to #1, “Well, you’ve grown up into a nice young lady, haven’t you?”
Her response was a toothy embarrassed grin.
Then, being the father that I am, I went a step further. “It won’t be long before you’re all grown up with babies of your own.”
“Dad!” #1 exclaimed, her eyes wide and bright as flashlights. “NO! I don’t want to grow up.”
Poor girl. Adulthood was rushing up at her like a freight train and she had a first class ticket. She will have no choice but to get aboard. All the exits are locked.
As I looked around at my children, age eleven to almost nothing, I remembered a little of when I was small, when I never wanted to grow up. A time when summer days seemed to last years. When all I ever wanted was more time to play outside. We are a regular family of Peter Pans, aren’t we?
It will not be long before #1 is well on her way down the tracks of adulthood. At some point, I expect she will even become excited about the prospect. If she is anything like I was, that will happen when she needs to be just a little older to do whatever it is she wants. The time when she cannot grow up fast enough.
But for now, she avoids my laughing eyes. I only tease her a little. “Don’t you want a couple of babies to hold?”
“Dad!” #1 said exasperated, “I’m too young for babies.”
That may be the case right now, but give it a little time. She may not want to grow up, but, I know she will be happy about it, once she arrives there.