Today, I nearly lost my daughter!
Well… ok… I didn’t really nearly lose her, more she made a radical big for freedom and daddy had left the back gate unlocked. Before I knew it she was out the gate, down the path and by the car. Thankfully rather than continue her bid for freedom while daddy emptied the car of what my wife refers to as our “Love Seats” (Don’t ask, I have asked why, she answer made zero sense and therefore I am working under the assumption that I don’t need to understand) she stopped to eat the gravel stones that make up the car park behind our new house! (Yes folks, she is most definitely my daughter!)
She was returned to the living room and mummy was informed that our child had decided the big bad world was a place she felt comfortable exploring. Mummy made some unconcerned “ohhhh” noise and all seemed to be well.
So all is well that ends well.
But it did set me thinking. Right now, she can’t really do any damage or get anywhere because one of the two of her parents has a general idea of where she is and what she is up to at all times. Actually losing her would be traumatic, but is also extremely unlikely to happen.
What is far more likely, and is much more worrying, is that over the next 18 years (and probably longer) I need to be constantly on my guard not to lose touch with my little girl. I never want to lose her emotionally, that she becomes closed off and distant. I know during the teenage years, things are going to be particularly difficult in that area and therefore it is vitally important that I invest emotionally in her now. Right now, I am laying the groundwork for our many future years. Right now, I need to remember who my priority is and make sure I invest my time, love and energy into her.
The reality is however, that is particularly difficult. When she’s 15 months old she is cute, chatty, destructive, able to remove clothes from baskets but seemingly incapable of returning them when she is done. It is actually, extremely easy for me to just let life happen, rather than to be deliberate and intentional about my relationship with her.#
I will definitely tell you the story of a time she was very young and we did genuinely nearly lose her, but this time in a medical sense. I always told myself when she was very poorly that I would never take her for granted. And yet, so often, I do!
Gentlemen, Ladies, Mums and Dads. May we be intentional with our little ones, and lay the groundwork for a lifelong friendship, when our immediately parenting duties are done!