So while I have been busy battling her over Instagram and bugging her about her grades and enduring stony silences because I “just don’t UNDERSTAND,” my daughter turned 12 over the weekend.
I miss the callerpittars and pigtails of preschool. But, despite the preteen-ness of it all, I love the little girl who just turned 12: she is graceful and smart and funny and kind (and stubborn, and willful, and talkative, and sarcastic…because, after all, she is my daughter).
For her birthday dinner, Caroline wanted steak (because, after all, she is her father’s daughter). She chose a nice restaurant and acted maturely impressed when the maître d’ wished her a happy birthday upon our arrival. She gave us a grin when the waiter told her to close her eyes and sprinkled confetti at her place. She articulately ordered her petite filet and put her napkin in her lap without so much as a meaningful glance from me.
As I watched her, part of me wondered if there was any little girl left in there; a small piece so I didn’t have to say goodbye just yet.
As we waited for the check, she said, “Dad, you’re the closed hearts.”
I looked over, and she had taken the confetti and started a game of tic tac toe.
And I had my answer, and it was perfect.