The only thing worse than buying feminine hygiene products for your wife is buying them for your 10 year old daughter. It is a fate all fathers hate.
How did this happen? Why is time flying and how do I get it to stop? At the very least, it should give me a chance to chase it and win. It is as if I never got the message that it does not stand still and never will.
I look at my oldest daughter and I remember the minute she was born. I snapped a picture of her cesarean birth (and yes, it was with film). In it, her legs are still inside her mother’s womb and her torso and mind are exposed to the world. I remember a feeling of fear resting deep in my belly, one that stood face to face with such a grave responsibility. I remember telling myself that I would master all things pertaining to fatherhood and fortune for her and that every lesson I had ever learned would be shared with grace, humility and a deep, deep sense of urgency.
And then life hit. Molecules began to move. Her legs were freed from their uterine bonds and the hours and minutes that make up her life began a rapid succession. I, I was left pursuing pavements. The hairs of my head began to lighten and the strength of my arms began to wane. Her own prana began to move and rise, propelling her into a life and experience of her own. Mine did as well.
When I was her age, I believed the world was ever before me. I knew that every star was attainable and that one day, I would hold them in my hands with deep care. What I did not know was that while my longing for them would never pass, the man who grow and continue the pursuit of attaining them would experience moments of doubt, fear, ambivalence and exhaustion.
It would also be filled with moments of success. Although buying my child things symbolic of life and growth within her own body gives me deep sadness because it marks the passing of time, it also gives me great joy. A joy that is deep and tangible because her life is also moving. It’s passing. It is successfully being protected. I cannot take complete credit for the preservation of her life but the reason we have children, (to see life and legacy continue and come into fruition) is being accomplished.
Life has a beginning, a middle and an end. A genesis and a revelation. It is a literary arc and a series of both unfortunate and fortunate events. For me (and I am sure it is for other), this is a source of both pleasure and pain.
If there is anything I have learned about growing up is that it is both ecstasy and sorrow. Time passes and flies into eternity, a place we have no control over. Yet in the midst of that, maturity comes because time is passing and bringing profound, more substantial phases of life. While eventually time and life will end and bring feelings of despondency, the more life goes on, the more life is being lived.
I will buy my daughter pads and tampons and bras with not only great aversion but with exceeding joy. I wish her life did not have to wane but I take joy in helping her live the one she has.