Head First: This is happening a little too fast.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This is happening a little too fast.

I didn't feel old when I turned 40, but then, I wasn't the father of a teenager.

My firstborn will turn 13 on Tuesday, and as usual, the festivities (which take several days) will begin at Grandmom and Grandad's house in Maryland on the day after Thanksgiving and end at my house sometime next week.

I've purposed not to get too reflective about my baby entering the "next phase" (at least not for a couple weeks). There will be plenty of time later to fret about the makeup, the clothes, the boyfriends and how to dispose of their remains. She'll be grown soon enough. For now, she's still my little girl.

Being a parent has taught me a lot about how much God values me, and the way He wants to relate to me. I enjoy spending time with Catherine. She's just fun to be around, hugely talented, with my sense of humor. Like me, she's alternately frenetic and brooding. Sometimes, I just enjoy watching her be herself. Once in awhile, she'll do or say something--display some mannerism--that I know she picked up from me. When that happens, my breath catches a little. It's a bit of a thrill to see yourself reproduced in your child in such a way.

I think it's the same way with the Lord. He delights in being part our daily lives, just watching us be ourselves. And I'll bet His heart jumps a little when He sees us behave in a way that imitates Him, not because we're trying to, but just because we've picked up certain of His traits from being around Him so much. I imagine it thrills Him a little to see Himself reproduced in us in such a way.

Anyway, happy birthday, sweetheart. Daddy loves his girl.


Zeke said...

Dorse, with eyes like that you'd better start stocking up on shotgun shells.

And Catherine, happy birthday! If you have your dad's sense of humor, we'd surely get along famously.

BruceD said...

That was beautiful! And so is she!

Happy BDay, kiddo. Don't let dad eat too much cake!

Kc said...

I think you're both so incredibly blessed to have each other. Dorsey, that was such a wonderful tribute. Catherine from your father’s description it seems you are as beautiful on the inside as you are in appearance and I hope you have a wonderful birthday and get everything good that you want! ;-)

The Cubicle Reverend said...

Remember the one sentence that you need to tell any little boy that comes over:

"I have no problem with going to prison."

Craig Bob said...

As the father of an 18-year old girl ... gulp ... woman, I'll also share this line for use with boyfriends. It's served me well:

"I have a shotgun and a shovel; I don't think anyone would miss you."

JimmyBob said...

Dorse, I can't believe how much she looks like your whole family! I mean, I see you, I see your wife, I see her grandfather (you know, ahhh, the Italian side "How you doin'?").

Wow! She's really growing up. Cherish those times together. It's good you can smile when you see your personality coming out of her. I've had similar moments with Jennifer, my now 7 year old, 2nd grader.

You know what scares the crud out of me though? It's when she displays my less admirable traits. She argues like crazy, she has a memory problem, she zones out when she's focused on TV or something she's doing and doesn't hear anyone talking to her, she loses her temper, and she hardly ever does what she's told - when she's told. Also, she has a memory problem. Honolulu! Of course, she gets punished or scolded and I'm left feeling guilty because I taught her how to behave that way.

Does the guilt get greater when they become a teenager? When does the moment come when a parent holds the child responsible for their own actions/attitudes and quits blaming themself? Ever?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! And Happy Birthday to Catherine! Tell her I miss A.C.A. Chapel services.

jeff said...

I'll bet His heart jumps a little when He sees us behave in a way that imitates Him, not because we're trying to, but just because we've picked up certain of His traits from being around Him so much. I imagine it thrills Him a little to see Himself reproduced in us in such a way.

Yeah... the first time my son farted and it made him laugh, I was never prouder to be a dad...

dorsey said...

Y'know, I think God probably chuckled at that too.

Ron said...


Happy Thanksgiving! I know how you feel, my friend! I am watching my daughters, both of whom are in college, and I marvel at their maturity. They have been a blessing in my life, and I constantly have to remember they belong to the Lord, not to me. The greatest thing I appreciate about both of them? They enjoy coming home!

May your days continue to be blessed!

Sable Chicken said...

Dorsy, that was sweet! Beautiful!

Caro said...

Dorse- Keep me posted on your problems and progress. As you know, my granddaughter will also be 13 next summer. I really love C.
She lets me look at T. and see just how extraordinarily blessed you and I are.
Happy days to you Catherine. You are a special person to others as well as to Dad.
Be loved all your life, and be aware of it too.

Jeffrey Marvin said...

Happy B-Day Catherine !!

Hi to my Best Friend Dorse !!


Jeffrey Marvin

Herobill said...

Very nice analogy. We grow to being more like him. Thanks, Dorsey. Congrats & Condolences.

nathaniel adam king said...

Not only shall I start a 'Against Chic Tracts' blogroll, but likewise a 'Ann Coulter is HOTT!!!' blogroll...hehe

curious servant said...

My son just turned 15. I'm turning 50 in April...


Uh... let's see... 2005 - 1956 =


How'd I get here so quick?!

Joe said...

I think it was James Dobson, and I THINK he was joking, who recommended that when a child becomes a teen, but him/her in a large box with a hole through which to feed him/her.

When he/she turns 16, plug up the hole.

I've raised three. Two are perfect, one....well, let's just say there are still great hopes.

Joe said...

BTW I just read your article on the SBC refusing to distribute water because it had a beer maker's lable.

You are so right.

It is one thing to stand for an important belief. It is quite another to be pompus twits.

I am died in the wool Southern Baptist and was totally embarassed.

nathaniel adam king said...

As I said, my dearest friend, vengeance is mine...

Paula said...

Awesome post!!!!!! I'm 41 with teens and a 5 year old, yikes! It's such a thrill to see a part of you in your child. I know I'll live forever in Heaven, but my children are a little part of me that will live on long after I'm gone.

Your Sister In Christ,