Graduation day is here

Today is my oldest daughter’s graduation day. Graduations are fun. You celebrate your accomplishments. But the real excitement comes from what lies ahead.

Robyn is no different. She has some great opportunities ahead of her and she’s really excited. I’m excited with her. I’m proud of the person she has become, the character she’s developed and the faith that she has owned in her school career.

But my job is about to change.

It feels a little like those long exams I wrote in school. We want our kids to absorb everything we’ve figured out about life. We want to teach them how to avoid the trouble that the world is ready to deal to them. But then someone says: “Pencils down.” And that part of the test is over. Even if you’re not done.

Someone said to me that we only borrow our kids. When they’ve grown, we hand them back to God. But I think that it’s actually our kids who borrow us. Our job is to model God’s love and character for them until they can walk through life trusting Him. This is the real relationship that will sustain them. Once they have that, they can handle the rest of life.

When she was born 18 years ago, I decided to start keeping a journal so I could remember all the things that happened and what I was thinking. It seems fitting to review the start of the test before handing it in.

–, 1994

My little girl was born yesterday.

It’s quite a feeling to be someone’s dad. I wonder what will happen when she grows up. I watch fathers and daughters. Some daughters don’t even like their dad. Some do. I can’t help but think that all of these dads started out the same way I am — just holding their daughter while she slept quietly in the hospital. They all loved their daughters. What happens to make a daughter to not like her father? I don’t know right now. My only prayer is that I will be able to work out any problems that may arise in our relationship.

I want her to know how much I love her. I want to play with her as she grows up. It only seems right since we’re the ones that made her. Is it going to be hard to watch her grow up? She’ll go to school. Graduate. Fall in love. Get married. I want all of those things for her, but I know it will be hard for me to let go. The more time I spend with her and hold her, the harder it gets to put her back down. This probably won’t change even when she’s too big for me to carry.

Perhaps this is what happens between fathers and daughters. Will she outgrow the need for me? That would be hard to take, but I guess that’s how God teaches us about him. As God’s children, we shouldn’t outgrow the need to be loved by him. I think I know why God says to become like little children. Just like Robyn and me, our Father never stops loving us.

Precious little girl, always know that your daddy loves you.

About The Author

Pastor Kenny

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  • Charmaine on June 21, 2012

    I’m crying now. Beautiful.

  • Deborah Carr on June 21, 2012

    You have a beautiful daughter, and a talented one. Certainly, her willingness to allow her creativity to shine and grow is something she inherited from both her parents. (Congratulations on making it to graduation, dad. Mine had a full head of grey hair by the time I donned the robes)

  • Marlene Oulton on June 21, 2012

    Okay… so now I’m snivelling here at my desk after reading your latest post. While I am so happy for Robyn and her recent graduation, I wonder if she realizes how she ‘lucked’ out in being born to you and Rhonda. Some girls are not so lucky as she. I was and it was 11 years ago last week that my own Dad passed at the young age of 80. I’ll let you in on a little secret… I NEVER stopped needing him ever! And I miss him every day.
    So Robyn, if you read this, be very, very grateful that you have two wonderful parents who care for you. And tonight when you say your prayers, be sure to thank God that He placed you in the exact perfect place:-)

  • Suzanne LeBlanc on June 21, 2012

    Thanks for this Kent. Such a beautiful piece on your fatherhood!

  • Rebecca on June 21, 2012

    Kent – beautiful words, written for a beautiful girl. Robyn’s a treasure (as are Sophie and Caleb), you have every reason to be proud of and excited for her 🙂

  • Carole on July 16, 2012

    This is beautiful, especially what you wrote when she was just a babe. That question of how does the beautiful parent/child relationship in the beginning turn into lethal combat years later? Maybe it is a reflection of our relationship with our heavenly father? Whatever it is, is makes my heart weep for what is lost. That said, the fact that you publicly declare your love for your first born, tells of a very good relationship for you and your grown up babe.
    Blessings as your family adjusts to this new phase of life, and of parenting,

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