My little girl, now getting not so little, turns 7 years old today. We were talking last night about her birthday and like all kids she was so excited. Asking silly questions like would she be taller in the morning. While completely happy to be turning 7 she had this small moment though. She looked at me and asked, "Daddy, will I never be 6 again?" I told her no, she'd never be six again. Then in this bittersweet moment that she herself couldn't appreciate but all us parents could, she wrapped her arms around herself and hugged herself tight, and in a slightly sad tone said, "Goodbye 6 year old, I'll miss you."

Jeff Deminski photo

We all want our kids to grow up but we all miss the times when they're little. Those early years are hard. The first six sleepless months brutal. The constant waking throughout the night. The first serious illness. Just when you feel the burden of it their personalities start to show up and it's a new world again. Then all the changes and the challenges. You see life through their eyes and it both softens the hard parts of you and hardens the soft parts of you and makes you a better person. We're all told as new parents to enjoy it, it goes by so fast. And so it does.

Goodbye 6 year old. I'll miss you.