Today my daughter turned nine. What?!?!? OK, that’s just what’s going on inside my head. As a parent every birthday is a wild ride of a reminder that life moves quick. But there is more to this birthday for me.

The math seems to point out that I should be 50% of the way toward raising my daughter. That is caring for her, developing her, parenting her, guiding her and raising her to be an adult. As the saying goes, “You don’t raise kids, you raise adults.” So herein lies the rub.

Are you kidding me? Half-way there? She’s only nine for the love of Pete. I can’t be half-way done…that means she is soon to be ten, then eleven, then dating, then an emotional drain on society, then a financial drain on me, then grown and off to making real decisions and…

OK, panic attack diverted.

The reality is that nine years have passed. My wife and I deeply love our daughter and have diligently parented her with the hopes of developing a beautiful young woman some day. And yes, we’re halfway there.

Well, halfway to 18. I’m not sure she is going anywhere by then. I am sure that our hearts will be torn if she stays and torn if she leaves.

What a joy to get to teach our kids. Influence our children toward the most important pursuits. We are all on a journey and what matters is that as we journey together we point our kids toward God’s deep and overwhelming love for them.

When I was younger I liked to read these ridiculous books by Robert Fulghum. He may not know everything, but on one thing he was correct, and I quote…

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.

Leading and loving our kids is as much about who we are as what we say. Nine more years to go!

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