I bequeath to you today one little girl in a crispy blue dress with two blue eyes and a happy laugh that ripples all day long and a flash of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.
I trust you'll treat her well. She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning and skipping off down the street to her first day of school. Never again will she be completely mine. Prim and proper, she'll wave a young independent hand this morning and say "goodbye", and walk with little lady steps to the schoolhouse.
Now, she'll learn to stand in lines and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called. She'll learn to tune her ears for sounds of school bells and deadlines, and she'll learn to giggle, and gossip, and look at the ceiling in a disinterested way, and she'll learn to be jealous.
Now she'll learn how not to cry. No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch on a hot summer day and watch an ant scurry across a crack in the sidewalk. Nor will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn to kiss lilac blossoms in the morning dew.
No...now she'll worry about important things like grades and which dress to wear and whose best friend is whose. She'll forget her blocks and dolls, and now she'll find new heroes. For five full years now, I've been her sage and Santa Claus, pal and playmate, Father and friend.
Now she'll learn to share her worship with her teachers, which is only right. But, no longer will I be the smartest, greatest man in the whole world. Today, when that school bell rings for the first time, she'll learn what it means to be a member of the group, with all its privileges and its disadvantages, too. She'll learn in time that proper ladies do not laugh out loud or kiss dogs or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms, or even watch ants scurry across cracks in the summer sidewalk. Today, she'll learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends, and I'll stand on the front porch and watch her start out on the long lonely journey to becoming a woman.
So world, I bequeath to you today, one little girl in a crispy blue dress with two blue eyes and a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a flash of blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.
I trust you will treat her well.