Ok, so I have told my daughter for as long as I can remember that when she turned 13, I was installing a countdown clock in her room that counted down till her 18th birthday, and that she had to be out of the house when that happened. No, I really don’t mean that, but I do mean that I want and will have my children out of the house and being productive members of society and not living with me forever. And yes, I understand there are exceptions and this may change, but as of now, this is the plan of action.
The thing is, I have been saying this forever. What I have now come to realize is that as much as I always meant for that to be a countdown clock for her, I never once thought of it as my countdown clock.
You see, it always seemed so far ahead in the future that it was nothing to worry about. You know, like when people talk to you about retirement when you’re 20? It’s like, for real? That is so far away; I have plenty of time. Well the funny thing is, time, just like Christmas, sneaks up on you, and just like Christmas, it’s the same amount of time. It’s the same day. You know when Christmas is every year; they never change the date. It never moves, but somehow you look up and it’s December 20th!
Well, this month is my December 20th, as my daughter is turning 13 and I’m supposed to hang up the clock and get her moving, but for the first time, I am now looking at this as it’s not her clock to be out or ready to be out. It’s my clock staring at me, saying, “Hey, big guy, you have less than five years to make this young girl ready for the real world.” That freaks me out. I mean, I have not even started, and you all know the world we live in today. Even if I can get one major life lesson in with her every month, that’s only 60.
I don’t even know where to start, as so many of these things, she is not ready for. She is my “little girl.” I’m not ready to break the news to her on some of these things, but then again, I’m here to be her dad, not her friend.
So, get ready, Kylee, because here we go. We have tires to change, accounts to balance, lessons on saving money, rules of 72, how to treat friends, and that girls can be mean and that’s ok (they won’t always be.) Don’t even get me started on how she should be treated by boys, what a real date looks like, and how she can protect herself, and the fact that, “It’s ok because he loves me,” is not an excuse for anything in the world if it hurts you both physically and or emotionally.
Wow, this is going to be a lot. Let me know what’s missing, my veterans, as this is my first rodeo.
As they say in my favorite movie, Top Gun, “The clock is ticking, and as of now, we are keeping score.”
Text me at (225) 292-0032 because I can use the help. Pray for me.