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.
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.