“Missing Children”

girlsatdisney_blog
I woke up one day and looked across the island in our kitchen as our 13 and 14 year old girls were eating breakfast and readying for the day. I wondered what happened to those two little ones with pigtails, who played Candy Land on the living room floor and were such an incredible joy to have in our home. These two little girls had become children I no longer recognized. Sugar and spice had been traded in for an attitude far from nice. Gone were the days when they would hear me come in the back door and run toward me and wrap those tiny little hands around my neck. All of a sudden, I was an annoyance to them, someone to be tolerated. And, it seemed to happen over night.

I know as parents we are supposed to be the grown ups and act grown up, but truth is – we are just trying to figure this parent thing out the best we can as we go. On this particular day I found myself grieving the loss of my cherubs who posed at the entrance to Disney World just two years earlier in the wonder of innocence and delight. These two girls who bore my name had become people I honestly didn’t like too much – not at all, and I sought ways to bear their disdain. The only sick consolation I privately felt was the pain that their thousands of dollars of orthodonture were imposing on their gums.


I know as parents we are supposed to be the grown ups and act grown up, but truth is – we are just trying to figure this parent thing out the best we can as we go.


I picked up the picture from Disney World and without even thinking this through I made dozens of copies on letter-sized paper with “Missing Children” as a header. Below their picture it read “If anyone has seen these sweet girls, please return them.” Without my wife’s permission or even awareness I posted these on trees between the bus stop and our home.

Needless to say, this did nothing to endear our girls to their father – they were ripping mad. I wish I could say I regret what I did. I don’t. I may have gone about it all wrong, and their potential therapy bills may prove confirmation. However, I was not trying to lock them down in time, but I was seeking to stay engaged with them. I still am. And my methods sometimes hit the mark, while others are a dismal miss.

I trust that with maturity and grace my little girls, who are women now, will understand that the purpose of my attempts has been to hold on to their hearts.