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I Trust You'll Treat Them Well

 

Dear World,

          I give to you today two little girls in crisp dresses, with blue eyes and happy laughs, that ripples all day long . . .  and a flash of light brown hair that bounces in the sunlight when they run. I trust you'll treat them well!

They are slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning and never again will they be completely mine.  Prim and proud, they will wave a young and independent hand this morning, and say "good-bye" . . .  and walk with little lady steps to their school room.

Now they will learn to stand in lines and wait by the alphabet for their name to be called. They will learn to tune their ears for sounds of school bells and deadlines . . . and they will learn to giggle and gossip, and look at the ceiling in a disinterested way, when a little boy across the isle sticks out his tongue.  And now they will learn to be jealous, and now they will learn how it is to feel hurt inside, and now they will learn how not to cry.

No longer will they have time to sit on the front porch steps, on a summer day, and watch an ant scurry across a crack in the sidewalk. Nor will they have time to pop out of bed, with the crack of dawn, to kiss the lilac blossoms in the morning dew.  No, now they will worry about important things . . . like grades, and which dress to wear, and whose best friend is whose.  The magic of books and learning will replace the magic of their blocks and dolls . . . and they will find new heroes.  For five full years, I've been their sage and their Santa Claus, their pal and playmate, father and friend.  Now they will learn to share their respect with their teachers, which is only right . . . but no longer will I be the smartest, greatest man in the whole world.

Today, when the school bell rings for the first time, they will learn what it means to be a member of a group. They will learn in time that proper young ladies do not laugh out loud, or kiss dogs, or pet goats. Today, they will learn for the first time that all who smile at them are not their friends. And I'll stand on the front porch and watch them start out on the long, lonely journey to becoming women.

So world, I give to you today two little girls in crisp dresses, with blue eyes and happy laughs that ripples all day long . . .  and a flash of light brown hair that bounces in the sunlight when they run.

I trust you'll treat them well

 

 


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