Kids grow up. They just do. With each stage Addie passed, as a baby, turned toddler, turned kid, I’ve looked forward to the next stages. I’ve never really been all that sad that Addie is growing up faster than she should. The next stage however, this is a different story.
I don’t know if it is the fact that I’ve been able to be around Vivi as a baby more than I was with Addie, but getting Addie ready for school on her first day of the second grade ,after she has nearly gotten all of her adult teeth is well… it’s rough. And when I say “getting Addie ready,” I mean waking up to find Addie already dressed and fed and ready to go all on her own. No help needed from dad.
Pretty soon Addie will be coming home and asking about things like makeup and boyfriends. None of which I want to hear about. I remember my sisters all entered the stage of makeup and boyfriends. Once those things became apparent to each of them, it seemed as if the family became less and less important. It became more difficult to spend time with each of them because their priorities were clearly friends first. And the arguments about dating were almost never ending.
I look forward to coming home to a rushing Addie who jumps into my arms each day without fail—even if she’s gotten so big now that she nearly knocks me over. She’s just so long and heavy now. I used to let her use me as a jungle gym and a trampoline. It was pretty common for her to jump off furniture onto my stomach or my back without any notice. Why? Because dads are supposed to be jungle gyms for their kids. Those times are mostly gone now. The kid is just too big to be jumping on my stomach unless I want to take a trip to the hospital afterward.
She’s also into video games and chapter books. Sesame Street has become a show for kids and she operates a mouse on a computer like a full-grown teenager. She’s even old enough to walk herself to school.
The day is coming when I will lose Addie as I know her now. The time is coming when I will no longer be the fun jungle gym dad, but will instead be viewed as the dad who won’t let her go on a date with the same boy two times in a row, or the dad who won’t let her wear makeup until she is 14.
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