Aria at Eight

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I got myself a date tonight.

At 5:30 p.m., almost exactly eight years from the moment she was born on her EXACT due date, I’m picking Aria up from her dance class and she and I are stepping out on the town to celebrate her birthday properly.

Originally, Colin was going to accompany us BUT when he got wind of a movie night at school – he begged out; not wanting to miss the last movie night of the rapidly dwindling school year. And while it would have been great to have him with us, this almost makes it completely perfect. Nothing better than a little Daddy-Daughter time.

At eight years old, Aria’s personality is in full bloom. She’s got a funny, quirky sense of humor – cracking me up as she doubles herself over in laughter. She’s been a nonstop fount of Facebook Status Update material for the last few years; always finding something funny to say about a situation starting way back when she asked me if I decided to grow hair on my arms because I didn’t have any on my head. It’s funny because it’s true. 😉

Her interests run far and wide… with Disney Princesses completely taking a back seat these days to Harry Potter and The Avengers. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered she loves superheroes as Colin really never grooved to their epic feats. I mean that’s one of the reasons I had kids – so I had an excuse to see all those movies I refuse to grow out of. 😉 Colin is more of the realist – loving his home renovation shows (which will hopefully pay dividends when he’s old enough to work the mitre saw).

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Looming above ’em all is Hello Kitty – of which her collection continues to grow. I swear, if she ever gets to Tokyo, her head would grow to the size of Hello Kitty’s mammoth noggin when she spies all that merchandising on full display. A few years ago, while we were in Epcot, we popped in the gift shop in Japan and barely made it out of their in time to catch our cruise FOUR DAYS LATER!!!

At age 8 – which still seems so young yet on the slippery precipice to tween – there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look upon my daughter and marvel at the beautiful, friendly, courteous, intelligent and engaging little lady she has become. It never fails to make me look back to her earliest days and marvel at how fast time has flown.

I tell this story often but only because it is so near and dear to my heart:

The day she was born – at the exact moment she arrived – the nurse ended all wondering of whether we were having a boy or a girl by looking me directly in the eye and promising – “Congratulations Dad. You get to walk your daughter down the aisle some day.”

Every time I think back upon those hopeful words, I look ahead to a bright future. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to rush things – but as a sucker for weddings – there is something in that moment, when a father gives his daughter a little kiss before handing her off to her next chapter in life, that never fails to elicit a lump. When the nurse said that – and I did the quick mental fast forward through a potential life – that lump settled hard. When I think upon those words – and wonder forward – I feel it each and every time.

And yet, I’m in no rush. I aim to cherish these days – each and every one. That’s half the reason this Blog stays open for business. If I can’t prevent time from slipping away, at the very least I can take a snapshot of it – a little sample of each and every one of the good old days and store it here to enjoy on some future day when a little sip of nostalgia is exactly what’s needed to hit the spot.

If the future with my children is anything like my past – I’ve got nothing but good life left in store. But let’s take it one day at a time…

So today is Aria Leigh’s 8th Birthday. And tonight, our date…

And tomorrow… already brighter with her in my life.

Happy 8th Birthday Aria Leigh!!!

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