My daughter, I want you to know…

I have always heard people say that their kids grew up too fast.  I always thought it was a stupid saying though.  I mean…they all grow at the same rate.  It is not like your child was a super advance growing machine.  Then I had kids.  Now I am the one saying, “My kids are growing up too fast!”

I have tried countless things to stop it all…but nothing has worked (I am still trying to figure out how to build a time-machine).  Next week my daughter starts Kindergarten.  She is thrilled.  I am not.  Now she will be spending hours with a bunch of other kids.  All of whom are raised with values and morals that are not mine.  This is not to say they are bad kids (many of them are probably great)…just that I have become very aware that I no longer get to control the influences around her.

So…while she will probably not understand much of this…I have some things I want to impress upon her as she grows…

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1 – You will find many new friends but you only need a couple great friends.  Find the ones who love you the way you love others. Those are the great ones.  Hang on to them.

2 – You are a treasured child of God.  No one has the right to treat you otherwise…but some will.  Just brush it off and love them.  You will be better for it.

3 – Be generous.  Give, share, and help others.  They won’t all do the same for you…but that is not why we do it.  We do it because it is the right thing to do.

4 – Some day another kid will try to get you to do something that you know is not right.  Do what is right.  Do what is good.  Honor God.  If you have to…you can blame me.  Use me as the reason that you can’t do what is wrong.  If they have a problem with it…just tell them that they are more than welcome to come talk to me about it.

5 – Work hard.  Learn all you can.  You are a brilliant and talented young lady.  I can’t wait to see what God does through you.

6 – Some day you will get into big trouble and your dad will be very upset.  I will probably fly off the handle.  I will surely yell.  I will most assuredly be unreasonable.  Just remember…I love you more than you will ever know no matter what you do.

7 – When #6 happens…I will seek your forgiveness.  Forgive me.  (By the way…just so we are clear…my asking for your forgiveness is not the same as me saying you are no longer in trouble.  You will still be in trouble).

8 – There will one day be a boy.  I will not like this boy…simply because he likes you.  And one day…he will love you.  I will like him even less.  Yet…one day…he will ask me if he can marry you.  I will say no.  His response will tell me the world.  If he is good enough (which I don’t believe there will ever be such a boy who is good enough for my daughter) he will ask you anyway.  Then I will know that he loves you…and I will know that he is the one that I have been praying for for years.

9 – You will grow up thinking that I am overly protective.  You will be right.  I am okay with that…and one day, when you are older, you will look back and be okay with it too.  In fact…you will want to thank me.  Please do.  I try very hard to be a good dad for you…and I could probably use the affirmation.

10 – You can do anything with your life.  You can be a doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, a garbage woman, or a daredevil.  My prayer for you is that no matter where life takes you…you get there by following God.  Money and the American Dream is very enticing.  I chased it once…and I was miserable.  Since then…I have chased God.  I have never been rich, I have never had the proverbial American Dream…but I am filled with joy and happiness.  Chase your God-Dream.  That is my prayer for you.

11 – Finally…you need to know one thing:  I am here for you.  Always and forever…I am here for you.  No matter how bad you fail…what mistakes you make…or how things go wrong…I am here for you.  Never be afraid to call on me.  I am right behind you every step of the way.

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