To My Child: Please Don’t Be In A Hurry to Grow Up

“I’m going to marry Wiley tomorrow, Daddy!” My daughter’s voice proclaimed with the confidence of a Presidential hopeful from her car seat.
“Really?” I retort. ‛Wiley’ is my daughter’s way or pronouncing, ‛Riley’; a boy in her class that she has taken a shine to.
Flash back to the beginning of the school year last year. My little Ellaina had no problems acclimating herself to her environment. She made friends really quickly. Now, this is a pre-school, and kids don’t all start at the same time, they kind of come in when they’re ready. She started at the start of the school year, Riley came in with a fresh batch of kids a few months later. It is my job and duty as a father to scrutinize and vet any boy that dares to come near my daughter, but I have to say, and I hate saying it, I see nothing but a bright future for this lad.

Reilly is blonde haired, has eyes as big and blue as robin’s eggs, high cheeks, dimpled chin, an almost unnatural shyness and is completely smitten. With my daughter.
God.
Dammit.

Great. He even looks like him.

How my daughter became the brightest star in his sky is quite simple. Since he was the latecomer to an already established party, his first day started off being bullied. I mean, bullied inasmuch as 4 year olds can bully. My little Ellaina, was the only one…the ONLY one to step in between him and his aggressors, stick her finger in their faces and say, “Stop it. That is not the way we do things.” And just like that, it was as if it never happened. My little girl is Wonder Woman, and he’s Steve Trevor.

Oh.
Great.
It’s one thing if she said hi to him when no one else did, no, she had to go that extra mile and permanently mold his perceptions and to make him a puppy dog in her presence.
I.
Am.
Not.
Kidding.
A few months ago, we were shopping when suddenly Ellaina bolts upright in the shopping cart, looks in the direction of  meat counter and shouts out, “WILEY??!!” I honestly had no idea what she was going on about until the reply came back, “EWAINAH??!” and there in the middle of the meat department was a tiny fair haired, blue eyed child. Grinning from ear to ear. His hero is here. All is right with the world. The parents stopped and chat for a moment as parents often do, all the while, I was watching the stars dance in this young boys eyes, and his eyes never left her face.

It’s love. Pure and simple. I’ve seen that face before. I’ve made that face before.
Many times.

~***~
“So Lainey, tell your mom what you told me when I picked you up.” It was my day to have the car. Mother’s job and child’s school are in close proximity to each other so the story was still fresh.
“I’m going to marry Wiley tomorrow,” she stated again, her mother barely restraining her laughter.
“Now sweetie, I’m a little concerned about your future,” I said laying down the law as lightly as possible. “What are your living arrangements going to be? I mean, does Riley even have a job?” She giggled not knowing a word I was saying.
“Mommy, are you coming to my wedding tomorrow?”
Her mother joined in in the same vein, “Lainey, you can’t have a wedding tomorrow. I mean, you don’t even have a dress.”
“No,” she said, “but I do have a tu-tu!”
This is one of those moments that you’ll treasure forever as a parent. Not only am I beaming that she is a child of conviction; she will stand up for what she believes and stand up for those that need standing up for, but this is also a moment where we will make sure she sticks to those convictions…
…when shes actually ready to get married and is inevitably stumped as to what style gown she wants, I’ll just show her the above picture.

Picture Credit:
Sensation Comic

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