I don’t know when it happened, or how, but it has. my daughter is a princess no more, she’s grown up and right out of the princess universe.
when the princess universe was first introduced to my daughter I was a little skeptical, dreading the possible negative implications that the term princess has attached to it. wanting to raise strong children, a fairytale princess seemed like a really bad role model to accomplish that objective. as it turns out I had nothing to fear. princess or not she was still a very strong, independent and fearless little girl. and I have to admit, watching her play princess just made me love her that much more. so much so, that now that’s it’s over I am surprisingly quite sad.
all those tea parties and viewings of the little mermaid seem like a hundred years ago. the spontaneous dress up sessions and royal balls that my princess demanded her subjects view fade a little more every day. when i look at the photos now it feels like a different girl and different dad from a different era long, long ago, a much more innocent and magical time.
the worst part is that the transformation seemingly happened over night. there was no warning. suddenly there were no more tiaras, no more dancing around the house with her in my arms. her bedroom went from all things pink and princessy to peace signs and soccer trophies. i am so proud of the way she’s growing up, she really is becoming a wonderful little person. but as all dads know, watching your little girl stop being a little girl can break your heart. it doesn’t help that she was my first baby and now when i pick her up her feet barely leave the floor. what happened to the days of cradling her tiny little body in my arms?
i’ve been warned that little girls grow up and change, not always for the better. one minute they’re as wonderful and amazing as a human being can be and the next, well, they’re telling you all the things that are wrong with you. so for now i’m planning ahead, i’m storing up memories. her in diapers cradled in my arms, her as a princess dancing around the living room, losing her first tooth, our first daddy-daughter dance, all beautiful moments, now memories, that i hope will stay with me the rest of my life but more important, priceless references to look back upon as she struggles through those challenging stages, things to reflect upon the first time she tells me that she hates me or brings home a date that i want to strangle.
no matter what happens or how many bad stages she goes through she will always be my little girl. while i mourn the end of that magical, innocent stage i eagerly anticipate all the exciting new experiences that await her and how she meets and conquers all those challenges. no matter what happens from here on out, i am so thankful to have been allowed all of the specific joys and beauty that only come with raising a little girl, my princess.
I love you baby.