To my three little girls from their dad: I treasure what you are teaching me about how to live life

You are my three little girls but I know you won’t stay that way for long. I don’t fully realize it yet but somehow I know these are the days I’m going to miss the most. 

The days of chasing down ice cream trucks, running through sprinklers, family movie nights, and hide-and-seek. 

These are the days we get to live in the land of make-believe. The carefree days when you still get to see the world exactly as you want it to be.

The numbered days before you have to be concerned with budgets, boyfriends, college, or career.

These are the days I’m learning for myself how to see the world through your eyes. The days you teach me how you dance like a lunatic without caring who’s watching, why you laugh for no reason, and how you love everyone you meet without caring about their social status or voting habits.

These days precede the inevitable days when you’ll have to learn hard lessons the hard way. The days you’ll be afraid, the days you’ll feel betrayed, and the days you’ll feel so alone it will hurt all over.

I’m counting on these days to prepare you for those days. 

These are the days we build a foundation of trust and understanding. The days I get to prove to you just how much you matter to me. 

Someday I’ll be at every ballgame, dance recital, and graduation. But these are the days I get to show you that the little things of today matter just as much to me as the big things still to come. I know sharing a Popsicle on the back porch is just as important to you today as all the rest of that will be to you when you’re older. 

These days, playing along with your fantasies and fairytales is the least I can do to preserve you exactly as you are. 

For now I’m still okay keeping you in the dark about everything else. I’ll let you wait to trade in your naiveté and innocence for life experience and disappointments.

Someday you’ll have plenty of time to learn about make-up, mathematics, and making out. You’ll discover for yourself all the beauty and ugly this world has to offer. 

These days all you have to be concerned with are Barbie dolls and bike rides, nasty vegetables and looming bedtimes. 

There’ll be plenty of time to prepare your intellect; for now I’m just trying to preserve your innocence. 

These are the days I’m learning for myself how to see the world through your eyes. The days you teach me how you dance like a lunatic without caring who’s watching, why you laugh for no reason, and how you love everyone you meet without caring about their social status or voting habits. 

I know someday that’s going to change. Someday you’ll care about the things that don’t matter and stop caring about the things that do. 

Those days, I know you’ll even stop caring about me for a while. These are special days when you still think that you’re going to marry your daddy when you grow up. Soon you’ll stop calling me “prince charming,” and eventually your childhood pleas of “play with me!” will turn into teenage exclamations of “go away!” By the time you finally realize you like your ole dad again you’ll have your plate full with a life and little ones of your own.  

That’s how I know these are the sweetest days of all. The numbered days of pure magic that God gives to every parent willing to take advantage of them. The days you still want to be my friend while we still have time enough to be so. 

Sadly, these are also the busiest days of my career. The days I’m supposed to leave the house before you wake up and get back just in time to kiss you before you go to bed. 

But corporate ladders lead to places you aren’t in and I’d rather be where you already are. The big promotions can wait but your childhood most certainly will not.

I know you’re not going to be little for long, and that I’ll never get these memories back if I miss making them the first time round. I know there are no do-overs when it comes to your childhood. 

That’s why I treasure these days most of all and spend as much time with you as I’m able. I know you won’t be little for long so the rest can wait a little while longer. 

Daryl Austin is a small business owner and writer from Orem, Utah.

FOX News

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