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Little Girls and the Growing Pains of a Father

26 Apr

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Photo by Arundo on Morgue File.

Well, it is official . . . my little girl is growing up: and I do not like it! I took my four-year old daughter to a pre-K screening yesterday morning. We are hoping and praying she gets into the program. It will be beneficial to her, helping her with her educational and social development.

She, along with her younger sister, are in daycare during the week already. I pray everyday that this too will be beneficial for both of them. I think it is a good way to develop their socialization skills and nurture a bit of independence. My wife and I, along with their grandparents, are teaching them, or trying!, to develop these skills and other needful life skills; such as, problem solving skills, patience and sharing.

The night before last, I gave her a fatherly pep talk about her screening. I told her not to be shy, but to answer the questions and see it as something fun and exciting. My four-year old daughter has a tendency to be shy−a tendency she gets from me. So, when I am giving her this sage advice, I am talking to myself as much as anything!

As I was taking her to the screening yesterday morning, I reiterated my speech. She assured me she would be fine. She seemed happy and excited to be going to school. I found myself to be less than thrilled though, in all honesty. I started feeling nervous about the whole thing. I really was not worried about her doing well, I felt she would, in fact I had prayed she would; but, I was nervous and a little on edge thinking about her being at the age to start pre-K. I did not want her being old enough to do that yet!

We go into the room and sure enough, she is excited and does everything they ask her to do. In short, she was great! They administered two tests for her. Your typical show me this or show me that. One of the tests they administered, is a test I am familiar with . . . I have given it to many kids myself, in the past. So, I knew she was doing well on the test as the administrator gave it to her.

I, on the other hand, felt like a nervous wreck! I, as the parent, I had to fill out a couple of forms dealing with her social skills and any behavioral issues there may be. I had to fill out forms stating her name and birthday and the like. I was so nervous, I had trouble, at first, remembering her birthday! And yes, I know her birthday perfectly well, I just had a million things going through my mind. It was so bad, in fact, when I had to list her sex, I put down girl instead of female. Which, although not incorrect, is something I never do. I never write girl or boy for sex. I always write male or female.

I did not even catch that I had done it until after I had handed in the forms and we were leaving. I started to ask for the form back, so I could change it, but, again being a bit shy, I decided against it and just let it go!

All in all, the screening went well. They did not tell me any results, but assured my daughter she did very well. We will see where it goes from here.

I have been dreading all this for some time now. I have dreaded her first day of pre-K. And, I have especially been dreading her first day of Kindergarten. I just do not want her growing up as fast as she is. It seems like just a week ago she was a baby and now she’s four! Next thing I’ll know and she will be sixteen and driving!

Well, I suppose it has to happen. I just wish at times it did not have to, at least not so quickly.

This is part of the job, if you will, of being a parent. God has entrusted these girls to us, to raise and prepare them for the world. I pray every morning for all three. I pray they will be prepared and ready for what lies ahead. I pray God will keep them by his grace. I pray they will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.

At times, this responsibility of being a parent is terrifying to me. I feel the load on my shoulders. I feel the importance of every decision we make as parents. We are the primary ones molding them and preparing them for life. Yikes, can that be a scary idea, especially when I say it aloud!

Even still, I thank God for blessing us with this task. I pray we will be faithful in it. I have learned that being a parent is, in large part, a lesson in learning to let go and believe. Through a series of steps, we have to let go a little more and a little more, trusting that as we do, God’s hands are still holding them tightly. We must let them go. If we cling to them too tightly, we will stunt their growth and development. We have to prepare them, we have to guide them and we have to trust what God is doing through us.

No, I still do not care for it much; but, I know it must be done. If I do my part correctly, as I let them go, they will forever be mine in ways I could never dream. This is the way God has planned and designed it. I must trust his plan and grace. I must trust Christ to work through us and in their hearts. I am grateful he is worthy of that trust!

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3 responses to “Little Girls and the Growing Pains of a Father

  1. Jody Thomae

    April 26, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Our little girl goes to college in the Fall. We are from Ohio: she decided Montana State was the school for her. Could she go any further away from us? I indeed know the pangs of letting go, of letting God, of surrendering her into his hands as I can no longer hold her, physically or developmentally.
    Someone told me recently that we are “successful” as parents when we raise independent young men and women who know their strengths, know what they believe, and aren’t afraid of adventure. But then we are shocked when our strong, independent progeny want to leave us for the very life of adventure for which we’ve trained them. Doesn’t always feel like success.
    Alas, they don’t warn us that in training them to be self-sufficient, we need to train ourselves as well.

    Blessings to all of us learning to let go, to let God.
    Peace, Jody

     
    • Timothy Murray

      April 26, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Hi Jody, thank you for the wonderful and wise response! I will be praying for you guys as yours heads to Big Sky country!

       
  2. Beth Murray

    April 27, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Look at it this way, when you filled in the sex question, you didn’t put none as you did on your wallet identification so long ago. You were four once and with each year, you became just a little more independent. It hurts, but as Good Friday taught us the best Father ever, gave up his own Son, when you think about that; pre-school is not that bad!!

     

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