My little girl’s 16 … YIKES!

Haleigh at the wheel

Haleigh at the wheel

So, it seems like 30 minutes ago my little girl, Haleigh was only three years old. I can remember her kissing on me, crying climbing all over the place. She was this little thing with tiny hair so thin you could barely even feel it if you touched it. Now, fast forward and she’s in her bed all snuggled up looking like an dadgum adult and she’s 16! Yikes.

She’s sleeping late like a teenager, telling me she’s got a boyfriend, but I don’t believe it. I just deny it.

My wife, Jane and I got Haleigh really good on her birthday. We had a 1951 pickup truck sent over to our house and I had been telling her that she and I could spend a lot of father-daughter time fixing this old clunker up. We could sand it down, paint it, work on the engine and totally remodel the truck. She wasn’t really into my idea. I had to try to sell on her the idea even more. I told her we would jack it up with a big speaker system, throw funky designs in the paint scheme … whatever she wanted to do we would do it. We were going to fix it up just for her. Again, she wasn’t sold. She doesn’t believe that dear old dad is the kind of person that wants to get out there and work on cars and she is correct, but I told her I would do it for her because I like spending time with her.

Fixing up that truck was not the kind of time I want to spend with Miss Haleigh because I’d rather spend time with her over dinners at nice restaurants, taking her shopping, traveling on cruises all over the world, taking her to the mountains or the beach … stuff like that.

I’m not really trying to spend time with her where I might bang my finger on something, smell paint fumes for hours or try to get an engine to work that really doesn’t want to work. That’s just not really my style.

I’d rather spend time with her doing all the fun stuff she loves to do. So I axed fixing up that old truck and surprised Haleigh with a new, red, four-door pick ‘em up truck, but only after she was convinced that the 1951 truck was all hers. She was ecstatic to say the least when we pulled the truck in the driveway. Call me crazy, but I think she’s a little more excited about spending time with me now than she was about having to work on that junked we had as a prank.

We had family and a bunch of Haleigh’s friends over at the house for her “Sweet 16” party Saturday night and she loaded up her new ride with 20-plus friends in the bed of the truck and probably another 10 in the front of the truck. She was excited to say the least. She’s already been to get lunch by herself with a friend and she’s been to a not-so-busy mall to shop and my nerves were tore up the while time until she got back.

It’s hard to believe my little girl is 16, but there’s no doubt about it because it’s happened. At least she’s not out of the house yet, right? I’ve got a few more years to enjoy all the time I can spend with her before it’s really not cool to hang out with me!

Happy Birthday Haleigh! We love you very much and hope you enjoy your new truck!

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