I just got my new passport in the mail. I look so grown up, especially compared to my old one from when I was only 16 years old.
"Only" sixteen. At 16, I felt completely grown up. Confident. Independent. Not swayed by popular opinion.
At times I think I was more grown up at 16 than I am at 29.
I think I was the most grown up at 9 years old. I remember that year vividly. We moved from Chicago to Indiana, and I merged into the school very well. I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Amos, and I quickly made a few best friends. I was comfortable talking to adults, I did well in school, and I was happy with my talents.
It's a nice place to be. It's a place to where we can never return.
Tonight, my 6 year old decided after watching American Idol that she's going to try out when she's sixteen. She then starts singing "Hallelujah" and asks if she can make it. Of course, I praise her and say she's amazing, and yes, she can sing that song on stage.
My mind instantly took me back to the age of nine when I would watch Star Search and practice my audition with some Amy Grant song. Visions of crowds, lights, cameras, and rolls of applause.
Of course I love my daughter and would never tell her that she was "pitchy" or her song choice was "horrid." I give her a hug, smile as she bats her eyes, but I know in my heart that her chance of making it on American Idol, if it is even still around in ten years, are one in a million.
Because that's what my parents did. They smiled, told me I was great, and let time just go on.
I guess I'm a little envious, seeing her as she grows in her very small world. Everyone is a new friend to meet. Jesus lives in her heart, and no one argues with her about it. Life is full of questions waiting to be answered (usually by me.) And her future is wide open, not yet written.
One day she wants to be a dog walker. Another day a singer. Another day a painter. Another day she says she never wants to grow up and wishes she could stay my little girl.
But unfortunately, she will keep growing, and I guess in a way I am happy for that. I just pray that the days take their sweet time, and that the world is gentle on her little heart.