As Destyni's birthday approaches I can't help but replay a commercial in my head, over and over again. It's a Subaru commercial. The father is leaning over the passenger side window, his daughter who appears to be around four years old is sitting in the drivers seat. He is telling her to be careful, don't take the freeway, don't use her phone while driving. The camera flicks back to the four year old while dad is handing her the keys and now she's an adult. I feel cheated. I feel like the marketing committee stole into my thoughts, into my fears and made a commercial about it. It's like the committee took what I am most afraid of and blasted it from the TV when I was least expecting it.
My first born is going to be nine. Nine years old! What happened? Wasn't it just yesterday that my mother and I were at the hospital, I was getting ready to take Destyni home and we couldn't properly put her in her snowsuit? She was so tiny she kept slipping into one of the legs. It took us two hours to get it right. Wasn't it just yesterday that I slept in her room on her first night home from the hospital, waking up every time she took a deep breath? Wasn't it just yesterday that I held her in my arms, rocking her and watching the most magical snow fall from my patio windows, knowing then that I never really knew what falling in love was until I met Destyni.
Nobody told me that having a child would change my life so drastically, that everything I liked before was going to be mere memories to what I was going to love now. Going out for supper with friends, or debating on whose home we were going to go for drinks would be traded in for how many ounces should I put in a bottle, and how do I get over this crazed obsession of just staring into my daughters eyes and knowing the feeling of utter completeness. Wasn't that just yesterday?
You could only imagine my panic when my daughter comes walking into the living room asking me if she can go across the street to play at the park with her friends. My mind is telling me to let her go, she has proved herself to be so responsible. She knows how to properly cross the road, knows she is not to talk to strangers, knows how to defend herself. But my heart is screaming in protest. No, Destyni you absolutely cannot go to the park. How are my arms suppose to reach all the way over to the park to hug and protect you? How am I suppose to kiss your pain better if you fall off the monkey bars? How am I going to give you the words to use when you are upset and want to explain yourself? So no Destyni, you can't go to the park, but you can go to your room and nap because in my heart you are my little girl. And Destyni if I let you go to the park with your friends, then I have to let you go for bike rides with them as well. And I will have to agree to letting you rush out the door for sleepovers. And I will have to let you learn from your own mistakes, and let you get hurt. And I will have to let you go to the movies, and take my car out when you get your license, and I will have to let you go on a date. And watch your heart get broken. And graduate high school, and go to university. My mouth says yes...my heart says no.