Yesterday, my baby girl turned seven.
Seven Halloweens ago, our Pumpkin decided to play trick-or-treat two weeks before her due date and, not to be melodramatic or anything, changed our world forever.
Watching her grow and change from a tiny, helpless infant who couldn’t complain when her father moved her arms to make her do a strange little dance to the tune of “Funky Town” into a big girl with her own mind, into her own person with her own personality (with a few too many hints of her father’s for comfort) has been an a confounding, breathtaking ride. I use those two words purposefully, because they can connote both the amazing and awe-inspiring as well as the painful. Because that’s what growing up is, isn’t it? We take for granted that that’s what growing up is, for the one doing the growing. We forget, sometimes, that’s it’s the same, if not more, for the one trying to watch, shape, safeguard that growing.
I am a father because of her. I am who am today, and who I am always becoming, because of who she is and who she is becoming.
Happy birthday, Pumpkin. I love you.