A Father’s Hope (Love, Trusting life, Fostering independence)

This morning, I dropped her off at circus camp. She went last year, loved it and was skipping through the house with excitement two hours before our departure time.

We checked in, and she held my hand as we walked the length of the floor to find her table. I had talked with her as I have many times about ways she could overcome shyness and make friends. However, she sort of locked up by the table that was hers to join.

Me – “Come on. Go say hello. Introduce yourself to him.”

She wasn’t convinced it was the right table, though. She stayed put. Finally, the young man who was to be her instructor got up from the table where he sat with other girls, said hello and asked her to fill out a name tag. She was in.

I turned my attention to sizing him up. Nice warm, relaxed energy. Early twenties, if that. I liked his handshake. Firm but not controlling. Made eye contact and smiled. I decided I liked him and felt comfortable.

Looking around at the other tables filled with kids and instructors I observed no other lingering parents. Time to make my exit. Kisses and a high five and off I went across the long floor. I looked back and saw her sitting there attentively. I felt good having her off on her own feeling confident and eager.

As I walked, I thought about the trust and energy you want when you leave your child with others and reminded myself that this is how parents feel when they bring their kids to train in tennis with me. Just then, over the loudspeaker booming through the circus tent I heard the lyrics from Maroon 5…

“And she will be loved…
And she will be loved…
And she will be loved…
And she will be loved…”

I exited to my car feeling confident that would be true in this camp and hoping, as all fathers do with their daughters, that those words follow her all her life.

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