|February 10, 2011 Sunrise 7:03 am|
Well, here we are on a grand adventure, using work time we don't really have to spare, investing that time in family and our child, sure to pay huge dividends, regardless of how the stock market shifts. Sarah is off on a charter bus to Disneyland to perform tomorrow morning on stage in Toon Town with her school orchestra.
She has been in a tizzy picking out and packing the appropriate "teenager" clothes (I think all the outfits are new..it was a 'girls only' shopping trip). She has had an ever expanding list of 'absolutely necessary' items to bring. At about eleven o'clock last night she gave me her 'Aren't I your little girl-I love you, Daddy' look...you know, the one that can melt a glacier....and desperately needed (like, I have to or I will surely die) a dozen NEW songs downloaded from iTunes and synced onto her iPod.
The chosen songs were the standard fare we listen to EVERY DAY on the way home from school. She has eight pre-set FM stations on my car stereo. No matter which button you push - you WILL hear one of those twelve songs.
The significance was not the action of loading 'hip' (I have no idea what the current term is) current songs, but was that we unloaded the Hanna Montana and Disney kids songs. Now, she is officially a teenager.
I met her at school today ,to not pick her up, but to have her toss her school backpack into the car for me to take home so she wouldn't have to cart it around with her two suitcases and cello for four days.
"Thanks, Dad. Love you, bye." Five words - five seconds. I watched her dash away to the tour bus to be with her friends. No look back. Every step she took was a major moment in time. We all have major crossroads in our lives, that once you pass over the threshold of the new path, you will never be the same, and you can't go back.
She is no longer a little girl (but, will always be my little girl). I know that sometime in the fairly recent past that the transition has already happened, but I didn't quite absorb the change as fully as I did today. It was only a few days ago when we dropped her off at kindergarten with a new dress, new shoes and a ladybug back pack. She hated to see us go (and we hated to go).
There will be more of these crossroads: high school, college, boyfriends, but somehow, this one seems to hold more significance.
Lise and I will take a day off work tomorrow. We are driving seven hours down to Anaheim tonight, buy ridiculously expensive Disneyland tickets for one-day, just so we can stand in the audience for thirty minutes to watch her, all dressed up in her new outfit, playing cello on stage in front of a whole lot of people. I will be in the front row. Smiling. Worth every penny and every minute.
I can already feel this investment of time paying dividends. I am very proud of her and happy for her to have this grand opportunity. Four days away from mom and dad, a tour bus trip, three days in Disneyland, hanging with her friends (listening to the same 12 songs). The cord is stretching pretty thin. It will snap soon enough. It will surely be one of those moments in time she will remember forever.
I am lucky to be here to see it.
I am a very rich man indeed.