I stood outside this afternoon and watched my little group of A.H.G. scouts play a game from my long ago youth. My friend and I mused how wonderful it was to watch them play little girl games, especially when we can plainly see that a few of them are on the cusp of young womanhood. One particular scout, who now clears me by a good inch, belongs to me. Her dolls gather dust on the shelves and she rarely joins in little girl games any longer.
But today I watched her laughing and holding hands with other little girls, daring someone from the other side to try to burst through.
In these last months I’ve watched her mature. Her features are not so rounded, and she has the look of a wise old soul behind her beautiful grey/blue eyes. She carries herself differently. Gone is my bouncy curly girl. She cautiously enters a room, now caring deeply what people think of her. A trait I wished I could vanquish from her little being, but knowing full well she inherited that trait from me.
She’s starting to get my jokes, and I realize that we share the same morbid sense of humor. She, too, naturally gravitates to the inappropriate. A reminder that I need to phone my dad and apologize yet again for everything that I put my parents through.
She’s so much like me, that I have to fight the urge to fling myself into her path when I see her venturing down the wrong road. Instead, I should only offer close guidance. And pray that she will seek an even greater measure of guidance that only comes from a deep relationship with her Creator.
But today I basked in the knowledge that my oldest daughter stills finds joy in youthful play. I hold these fleeting days close to my heart, with hands clasped. For I know the day is near when all the preparation, all the guidance, and all the worry in the world will need to be placed aside, as I open my hands to set her free.