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Don”t Blink

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by David Greer

Given her mommy and daddy, I guess Gracie couldn”t help having an inclination to write and to be full of creative expression. Seems like she”s been a creative soul since birth.

Ten years ago, she and I started the tradition of having her do a guest feature in the Gwinnett Magazine education issue. I figured she”d have a lot to say and education, world affairs and tips on parenting were certainly in her wheelhouse.

In the early years, I was employed as her ghostwriter. I”d take cues from her giggles and gurgles and expressive eyes to glean what she”d want to say in print and write the piece on her behalf. As she grew older, her input became a little more spirited and involved. She had little trouble telling daddy what she thought. That”s my girl!

Last year, we went through our typical routine of preparation. I”d ask her a few questions, gather her thoughts and then caringly write her story. I thought I did a pretty good job of it, but apparently at some point my client, Ms. Gracie, began to think otherwise.

When she read the piece attributed to her name, she called a meeting and promptly informed me the words written were not all exactly hers and she was none too happy. I was put on notice that next year she wouldn”t need a ghostwriter. She”d write her own column.

So, on the next page you”ll read the world according to Gracie. In her words. She”s practically grown up and certainly has a mind of her own.

Seems like I blinked and she turned 10, and I have a hunch 20 is gonna be here way too soon to suit me. I marvel at how smart these young folks are today. They are amazingly brilliant in so many ways.

As I”ve watched little Gracie grow up and take on life with such a joyful spirit and confidence, I”m reminded, too, of the pace of life, of how fast time flies. I see generations build on the ones before. Become more capable. Stretch boundaries I never expected they could. Do things that fill me with awe.

It makes you wonder what lies ahead for them. What experiences they”ll have in life. In 20 or 30 years, what will they accomplish? What will the world become? What will they know and enjoy? And I wonder, too, what they will remember about today?

One of the great joys of being a daddy is helping your children learn through life. Showing them the little things. Answering questions that only a child can ask. But as time goes by, you find another joy. That looking-over-their-shoulder, not-saying-a-word kind of joy. That time when your role is just to watch. To marvel over what they are becoming.

So here”s to a great run of being Gracie”s ghostwriter, but more importantly – here”s to celebrating independent young minds and their spirit. In all that is wrong in this world, it”s great to wake up every day and see the beauty of our children. Enjoy the moments. Don”t blink.

Seemed like I blinked and she turned 10, and I have a hunch 20 is gonna be here way too soon to suit me.