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When life changes

Twenty-two years ago today, my life changed forever. Fortunately, that change was for the better.

Twenty-two years ago today, I held my baby girl in my arms for the very first time. It was a moment that I will never forget as I became a Father for the first time.

Holding her, it was the most perfect thing I had ever seen.

In the years since, I have often flashed back to that moment, especially when I watched her sing in the kindergarten Christmas play, begin to twirl baton as an 8-year-old, twirl a flag and rifle in the marching band and indoor winter guard, walk across that stage and get that high school diploma and last year walk down that aisle as a bride.

Every life moment as a Father has been a blessing. I have the type of child who has never been in any serious trouble and is incredibly responsible as child and adult. It amazes me how mature an individual she has developed into.

I don’t take that parenting blessing lightly. I’m fully aware many parents have not been as fortunate or blessed.

I tell young parents all the time to cherish those late night rocking your baby back to sleep, changing diapers and handling tantrums because one day — sooner than you think — those days are going to be gone and you’ll hopefully, with a lot of hard work and love, be the proud parent of a beautiful adult child.

Looking back on 22 years, it amazes me how quickly that time has flown by with beautiful memories I hope to carry with me the rest of my life.

That’s not to say it was easy all the time. Oh no, there were moments just like every parent has endured. My daughter’s biggest issue from as far back as I can remember was which clothes to wear to school. I grew up with two brothers so I was not prepared as a Dad for little girls and clothes. Getting dressed in the morning was an ordeal from the time she could decide on which clothes she would like to wear that particular day. Eventually, it came down to choosing an outfit the night before and laying it out for her.

But the good memories far outweigh the rough ones. The trips together riding in my old beat up Toyota truck with her singing along to Martina McBride on the radio when she was three is my fondest. Those are the times I miss the most and often wish I could go back to.

But life moves on and new memories are made.

Happy Birthday, baby girl. And thank you for helping create a lifetime of memories and changing my life 22 years ago today.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.