As The Years Go Passing By

November 3, 2008
By
I was four years old. I was naïve to the twisted roller coaster of reality called life. The world I knew was abundant with finger-food, Sesame Street, and naps. Every night, he would sit on the floor in the bathroom, leaned against the wall, and strum tunes on his old college guitar and belt out ballads from The Beatles while I played in the tub full of luminous mountains of suds during my bath as I giggled in amusement. Those were the best baths. Then it was time for bed, and after I had put on my Barney pajamas and had been carefully tucked in, he would sit on the edge of my bed and tell me a story that would somehow make my eyelids feel as heavy as boulders but, at the same time would make me linger on every word he spoke, waiting in suspense for the next line. Those were the best stories. He was my daddy and I was his baby.

I was eight years old. The pieces of the puzzle of life were beginning to connect. My world consisted of recess, my friends, and soccer. He would attend almost every one of my games, sitting in the metal bleachers on the side lines telling me to hustle and clapping his hands, as I jogged down the field. Though, all of that didn’t matter when, after the game, he would tell me how proud he was of me. That was all I wanted to hear. Early in the morning on Saturdays, we would stop by the gas station, pick up donuts and chocolate milk, and go fishing on Grapevine Lake. Occasionally, he would sit me on his lap and let me steer the boat. “One day I will get to do it by myself,” I thought “just like my dad.” Those were the best mornings. He was my daddy and I was his little girl.

I was twelve years old, caught in a tight spot between childhood and being a teenager. Eleven had not completely left yet, while thirteen taunted me with its close proximity. I was in seventh grade and I was awkward. I sported a mouthful of shiny, metal, neon-colored braces and thick, unruly hair. Middle school was a chamber of drama and striving to be ‘popular’. He would tell me everyone else’s opinions of me did not matter as much as my own. We would both put on our aprons and spend time laughing and talking while making his secret recipe meatballs to go with our spaghetti. Those were the best nights. He was my dad and I was his girl.
I was fifteen years old. I was a freshman in high school. As far as I was concerned, the world was something that revolved around me. My thoughts were saturated with boys, shopping, make-up, gossip, and acting older than I actually was. I was going through a stage where I needed my independence like I needed air and I knew everything. He would poke fun at how long I took to get ready to go places, reminding me that we were not going to a fashion show. My new desire for maturity was pulsing. He was weary about me driving around with my older friends. I would always tell him how he didn’t have to worry about me so much, but he would anyways. He was my dad and I was his teenager.

I am seventeen years old. I believe life is a gift, an opportunity that should be lived to the fullest extent possible. My world is now full of school, friends, swim team, music, food, and sleep. He makes me laugh when I couldn’t feel any lower. He calls me out on my mistakes and helps me to correct them. He gives me freedom. I’ve come to accept he knows much more than I do. He gives me reality, and then asks me how I will handle it. He says you won’t get anywhere without hard work. He has reasonable expectations for me. He tells me the truth when I need to hear it. He is both my sanity and my conscience. He is my father and I am his daughter; and that is the way it will always be.





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