Baby Girl

Youngest-daughter is growing up. She's reached the age where, at least in public in front of her friends, she's a bit embarrassed for her dad to give her a hug and kiss. It makes me sad. It wasn't long ago she didn't care who saw her give her old man a hug. She said I love you all of the time. When I came home, her eyes would smile and she would come running to greet me, wrapping her arms around my knees and, as she grew taller, around my waist. I miss those days.

It won't be long until she starts wanting to date some nasty little pig of a boy. My nightmare coming true. I know I'm over-protective, but don't really care. When she was young, we had a tree swing and her mom would push her higher and higher. I couldn't watch. All I could see was my baby girl falling and breaking an arm or hitting her head. A couple of times when her mom couldn't do it, I've had to take her to the dentist for teeth cleaning and it was ridiculously hard on me. I can't watch. And with every little squirm or slight moan of uncomfortableness, I wanted to shout, "That's enough!" and get her out of there. A doctor giving her a shot? Forget about it. Years ago, after it took everything I had to keep from bopping a nurse when a shot made my baby cry, the wife has always had the doctor duty.

I plan to keep my baby girl as safe as possible when it comes to little piggy boys. I know what is on their minds - I was a little piggy boy myself. So when they come to pick her up, I have no hesitation in greeting them with a big knife in my hand, slowly sharpening it while I tell them they are going out with my baby girl and how much I cherish her and they best not get any little piggy ideas in their head. And I'll be waiting up for her return, watching what happens on the front porch and turning on the light at the wrong time (in my opinion the right time!). And if it embarrasses her, oh well. She can tell it to her therapist on down the line.

She may be getting older, but to me, no matter how old she is, I will always see her as my sweet, loving, innocent, gapped-tooth baby girl.