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Thursday, March 24, 2011


As hard as it is to believe, it's finally here. That day that every father dreads and every little girl seems to long for. Abby turned 13 today. She is...gulp...a teenager. Now, I know that 13 is just an age. The truth is that Abby is still a child in many ways and she has been a teen for a long time in many others. But it became official last evening when Abby finally got her own Facebook account (Lisa and I are some of those "mean" parents who made Abby wait until thirteen to get her account like the Facebook restrictions actually require).

So, there she is, on the internet. This is quite unsettling for me. Let me explain why. As much as I want my daughter to have those cool experiences and to enjoy sharing with her friends, it's like one more layer of safety has been removed. One day we are taking off her training wheels and the next we are putting her picture on the World Wide Web. Seems a little scary to me.

But I'm proud of Abby, just as I am with all my kids. As frustrating as parenting can be some times, I thank God frequently that I've never had to pull my kid out of jail or pick them up at school because of a suspension or that I haven't been forced from my neighborhood because of something they did. I have, by and large, been blessed with some amazing kids that bring me great delight.

They definitely have their moments (like the time Harrison decided to stop up the drain to the shower and make it into a giant "bath tub"). But I thank God for all four of them.

And today, I am specifically thanking God for one very special little 13 year old. She stole my heart 13 years ago when she was born and she's been making it dance with delight ever since. I love watching her mature and grow in her intimacy with Christ. I cannot wait to see what God does with her and how He uses her passion and compassion. The good news is she is a blessing to me.

The bad news is I can't hold her back and keep her to myself. God has a plan and a purpose for her (Jeremiah 29:11). I don't dare get in the way. I've just been giving the joy of caring for her and loving her the best I know how until she is ready to fulfill that purpose. So, happy birthday, Abigail. Your daddy loves you and always will.

(NO, Abby, this does not mean you can date before you are 16. It's not THAT kind of plan).

1 comment:

Wayne Causey said...

great words, Ridley, and yes i remember that feeling of having a big 13 year old girl.