I’m all out of little kids.
Officially. Today Camdyn turns 13. It’s only one milestone in nature’s reminders that I ain’t as good as I once was (but I’m as good once as I ever was.) This means that yes – just as the moon moved into position a coupla weeks ago) there’s a cosmic convergence.
I’m dad of three teenage girls.
Let that sink in a minute. No, not for effect. Just so I can rest my eyes for a minute. I feel like I’m having a time reaching the caffeine quotient to make up for the sleep deprivation. My calculations had been spot on before *removes glasses and wipes them*
I called Thursday night to add a line to our mobile plan for Camdyn.
That’s what she asked for. No more Webkinz and bracelet-making looms. So during Hayden’s practice, I called. I’ve been with T-mobile since the days of Suncom (who remembers them?) so they cut me a good deal on an extra line.
‘Ever wish for a son?’
I have to get my credit card out of the car, so to fill the silence, I tell the nice man on the other end of the line that I’m at my daughter’s practice.
My daughter is coming in December my new friend says. It’s not long before he learns I have three, and asks, as many do, did you ever wish for a son? Never, I say. The way these beasts wrestle and argue over fantasy football while in line at Bojangles?
He wraps up the transaction and says he’ll waive the fee for the SIM card and text me the confirmation. Camdyn’s going to love this.
Before I go, he says, could you help me with one thing? I’m thinking a survey, right? Yeah, I’ll help you out, brother. You’ve been good to me. But, no. Any advice for a man who is about to become a dad? I’m kind of scared, to be honest. I took a deep breath.
I forgot in the moment how tired I was. I forgot how many hours I’d spent in in the car this week, so many that I have to unfold myself from a seated position during the night because my body defaults to that. I forget that the ride to practice was mostly in silence.
I forget how at odds a dad can be with a teenage daughter.
A teenager daughter. I now have three, and I imagine my new friend, where I was one day, with a full head of hair and wrinkle free and showing signs of youthful exuberance. Hold her, as much as you can, I was saying.
Just watch her
Play with her.
Spend time with her. Get on the floor when she’s a baby and just watch her. Dads think a baby girl needs her mother more than anything. She does. She also needs you. You’re the first man in her life.
You’re her sense of adventure and strength in a lot of ways.
You’re showing her how a man – or a boy – should treat her.
My friend on the other end of the line goes quiet. You just brought tears to my eyes he says and I realize that you never, ever know what’s going to happen the next moment in your life. You might think you do, but you don’t. Not even close.
So, happy birthday Camdyn.
I love the kid you are and the glimpses of the young woman you’re becoming. I’m in awe of your courage and encouraged by your awe of the world. I hope you’ll stay at my side for years and years until you realize you’re too cool for dad.
And also I love you.