Thursday, January 09, 2003

I do believe that I am caught in a time warp. It would appear that Capt. Kirk was correct all along. In 62 hours I will walk my infant daughter down the aisle and give her away. She was just born last week but somehow this young guy named Joe has captured her heart. How? Don't ask me. She was sitting there watching Sesame Street and suddenly she's driving a car, collecting diploma's, and wearing fancy schmancy diamond rings. I don't recall giving her permission to date yet? And what's this about her having her own apartment in Edwardsville?

It appears that I am going to have to have a talk with the Almighty. Somehow He has let time get all out of kilter. My friends try to tell me that it is 2003 but they lie. I'm not sure what is in it for them but I suspect Debbie told them they can hold the baby if they can convince me. And yet... the date on the newspaper does indeed say January 9, 2003. I noticed it on the bottom right of my computer screen too. I just don't understand.

Exactly how do you go about this, God? Giving your daughter away, I mean. There must be a trick to it. Like when I played first base back at the old ball yard across the street from our house in Tinley Park. I couldn't get a runner out to save my life until the coach taught me to streeeeeeeetch for the incoming ball. Base runners starting trotting back to the dugout on a regular basis. Or maybe like when I was learning to drive a school bus and they made me back up without looking over my shoulders. I just couldn't get the hang of that until one day the windows fogged up and I had to use the mirrors if I ever wanted to park that thing. I learned to trust them that day and never looked back again.

So what is the trick to giving Kelli away? Do I put a bow on her head like I did that year when she was just months old and sitting under the Christmas tree? Where is that picture anyway? It was here just yesterday. Do I make Joe sign a "letter of intent" promising to really house her and feed her for the rest of her life?

I am use to her room being empty most of the time. Between college dorms and her apartment it's pretty rare that she's here. And yet... sometimes she does stay over. That's the weird part. She's done "sometimes staying over." No more, "I think I'll just stay here tonight." And not only that, I am not suppose to ask her to call me when she gets home so that I'll know she arrived alright. Joe's suppose to do that. What if he doesn't? Has anybody told him that's part of his job? Is he suppose to just know that automatically? Doesn't sound likely.

The aisle is going to be the hard part. I'm use to standing on the platform, speaking, even marrying couples. No big deal there. As long as I look at the words I'm going to say and don't spend much time looking at the lady behind the veil, I'll be just fine. I think. But how the heck do I get down that aisle? She'll be on my arm. She's NEVER been on my arm before. And now she finally grabs ahold and it's simply so that I can lead her to another man. What's the deal with that? She's been on my shoulder. She's been on my lap. She's been on my back. But I finally get her on my arm and she's useing it as a launching pad into another realm.

God, didn't you say that I'd never be faced with a temptation that was not "common to man?" What's so common about this? I also seem to remember that you mentioned in passing that Jesus faced every temptation we face. Suddenly I'm wondering about that one. Did you ever face the temptation to hide your daughter under the house and keep her all to yourself? Ok, that wouldn't be a good idea. Even if they didn't find her she'd sneak out. She's that way. Always having an opinion and doing what she wants. I didn't teach her that trick either.

I guess I'll just give her away. He seems to make her happy. They seem to get along. She's 22. She has a college degree. She has a job. She's almost as old as I was when I got married. I didn't have a degree yet and my job... well, I had two of them. We called it, "making ends meet."

Kelli, I know you don't read my blogs but should you happen to accidently surf by I just want to tell you a couple of things. Things I might not have mentioned. First and foremost... I love you. Always have. Always will. Please remember that. You know all of those times I climbed your frame for different things... I thought it was for your own good. You turned out great so maybe I was right. But I'm sure I blew it sometimes and I really am sorry about that. That last guy you dated... the one before Joe? He was a loser. I'm glad you realized that or this would be a truly sad week. I'm glad you are happy. If anybody makes you unhappy I promise I'll help Joe break their face. I didn't really mind that you didn't clean your room very often. I had to say that I did because dad's are suppose to. I read that somewhere. Oh, that bike that Grandpa bought you... your first one... you know, with the training wheels. You looked really good on it. Very self-confident. Even with the pig-tails. You did not write me letters very often and you almost never responded to mine. But I think I still have everyone you did write me. You are prettier than I ever imagined you could be. Actually, you are prettier than I ever imagined any girl could be. You look a lot like your mom did when she was 22. Good thing for you... my looks were the alternative.

Ok, I'm only going to say it one more time... Drive careful. Set your alarm. Don't forget to lock the doors. Go to bed early. Make sure you have enough gas in the car. Carry your cell phone. Wear your seat belt. Eat your vegetables. Wear a jacket. Don't lose your umbrella. Call your mother. Check your oil. And please, please, please... call home every now and then.

I love you forever. I like you for always.