This brings me great joy.
This brings me great heartbreak.
Heartbreak? Why would you be heartbroken? You have a happy, healthy, smart, inquisitive child who is growing up wonderfully. What’s to be sad about?
Answer: The passing of time. The insanely, insanely, insanely fast passing of time. When Casey was an infant, I used to walk her up and down the steps in my arms, rocking her to sleep. I’d rap softly to her—”One, two, three and to the four, Snoop Doggy Dog and Doctor Dre …” I’d gently scratch her back. I’d read her little foam books. I’d tell her, over and over and over, that I’d give her a great childhood. “We’re gonna have lots of fun,” I’d say. “Lots and lots of fun …”
Indeed, we’ve had lots and lots of fun. But she’s 10. More than halfway to college. I don’t understand where the time is going. She doesn’t want me to snuggle with her as much as she used to. She likes reading books without me. Every night, she used to say, “Tell me a story from your life.” And I did. Story after story after story. I’d sing her songs—Kiss, Hall & Oates, Blind Melon, Whitney Houston. We’d lie on her bedroom carpet and look up at the plastic glow-in-the-dark stars glued to her ceiling.
I love being a father. I love being a father more than I love writing; more than I love playing basketball; more than I love anything I’ve ever known. It’s hard and painful and troubling. Sometimes it can be really frustrating and irksome. Mostly, though, it’s joy. Absolute joy.
My daughter turns 10 tomorrow.
I feel like crying.