Today was Katie’s Birthday Party.
Before her friends arrived, the pizza did. We were outside and the pizza was brought in the house and paid for.
Katie asked me, “Dad can we stay outside?”
“You mean go for a walk?”
“That would be nice.”
She’s 12. No matter how old I get, I will always go for a walk with my Katie.
“Of course, sweetie.”
Earlier that day I had gotten home. I was on the phone with a friend who was having a rough time at home. I left Katie in the other room while I was on the phone with this man who was struggling with his own family issues. I didn’t have time for her then, but she didn’t seem to mind.
We stepped off the front lawn and she slipped her hand in mine.
“You’re 12 now, sweetheart. You sure you want to be seen holding my hand?”
“Well, yeah. No matter how old I get, you’ll always be my Dad.”
We started walking; she started swinging our hands as we walked.
No matter how old I get, this feels perfect.
We said and waved Hi to neighbors. Talked about the right time to be sarcastic. How it isn’t a good technique when meeting someone for the first time. Better save it for when people know you better. If you use it too early you come off looking like...
“…a jerk, Dad?”
“Yes sweetie. A big Jerk. Trust me.”
We walked around the block, away from her party. Just me and my Katie.
“Dad, you think I can be as smart as Sherlock?”
“I don’t see why not. You can spend time developing an eidetic memory if you put the time in, there are different techniques you can use.”
“Do you think I will be good with deduction?”
“That’s just being a quick but accurate thinker, sweetheart.”
“Will I be as smart as you?”
No matter how old I get, I will always enjoy talking with her.
I told Katie, later in the evening, I had another friend to visit. Someone who needed some of my time to talk ideas out. She knows that person and thinks highly of him. I would have to leave her party, but I promised it wouldn’t be until after she opened presents. She smiled and said she understood.
When it was time to leave, I told Katie I had to go.
In front of her friends, she ran up unembarrassed, hugged me, kissed me and said
“Tell your friend I said Hi.”
As I walked out the door, and shut it behind me I heard her say to her friends through the open window,
“My Dad has to go out tonight and be there for one of his friends, he does that.”
Every day, she grows up a little more. Every day, I let her go a little more.
No matter how old I get, she will always amaze me.