Thursday, October 7, 2004, 11:42pm

My daughter turns 18 years old today.

And I can hardly believe it.

That means I’ll soon turn 50. Sigh. Does it matter that I don’t feel a day older than 45?

But I digress.

I still remember her birth very well. Eyes wide with curiosity and intelligence, she entered our world and changed it forever.

It’s been a very full 18 years. And it hasn’t always been easy for her. Though now she’s better than she’s been in several years.

That’s a long story. And not altogether mine to tell.

But it was because my wife gave birth to our daughter that I first became a father. She was the one who first called me “Daddy.”

I’ve been trying to live up to that title ever since.

Our lives are marked by specific dates and events, ones that define us going forward. These experiences both impose limits on us and open up possibilities for us, sometimes simultaneously.

As a Dad, one of the most important things I’ve endeavoured to do was make sure that my kids have no doubt that I love them. I think I’ve done at least that!

Looking back, the years can seem a bit of a blur. Only old photos and home videos add specificity. I know that I’ve made mistakes. I haven’t always known what I’m doing (still true!). But I’m also grateful that through all the ups and downs my daughter and I have a pretty strong relationship.

For that reason I think it’s incredibly appropriate that our daughter was born basically right before Thanksgiving. Indeed, she came to church with us on her very first Thanksgiving Sunday way back in 2004.

So today I am grateful for my little girl, my wonderful, smart, creative, and sarcastic daughter, who blessed our lives with her arrival 18 years ago—and continues to bless us today.

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