This post was written completely out of my feelings. It’s a first draft, but that’s as it should be.
I turned 40 today. No, it’s not my birthday. I turned a numerical 40 on April 17, over a month ago. No, today I mentally turned 40.
COVID19 relegates my calendar birthday to just another day in quarantine 2020. I was underwhelmed. I thought turning 40 was supposed to be a bigger deal. I remember my father and mother turning 40. There were black balloons, presents, and speeches, all of which included the phrase “It’s all downhill from here.” No, I did not turn 40 on April 17, 2020.
I turned 40 today. Why? It’s because my oldest daughter turned 14 today. I was not expecting the emotions today. She turned 14. I don’t remember when I turned 14. It’s such an arbitrary age. No one ever throws a sweet 14 party, but today has been emotional.
It didn’t help that Kenny Chesney was singing “there goes my life” or that the smooth baritone of Tracey Lawrence dang, “you’re gonna miss this” as I drove to Joplin. I have George, Alan, Garth, Hank, and Travis to thank for drying my tears for the remainder of the drive.
I turned 40 today because I’m the father of an amazing 14 year old daughter. She is beautiful. She is smart. She is thoughtful, and she makes me want to be a better father. She is brave. She is courageous. She is a living example of a young woman of God. What do I love most about her? I love that she’s not perfect, just like me. We have great conversations about the world, God, Jesus, and the Republican Party. (That list is in no particular order). She makes me laugh, cry, smile, cry, swell with pride, cry, and all emotions in between.
It is in our children where we most closely see God’s handiwork. He is an amazing God. When we’re young we talk of seeing a great movement of God, but as we get older, we recognize God’s movement all around us. What an honor it will be to be counted among the Godly men in Genesis 5 who were born, raised children, and died.
Taryn is not quite a Proverbs 31 woman yet, but I suspect she will be just like her mother. Beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
I turned 40 today. I laughed, smiled, cried, and cried some more. Yep, I turned 40 today.