Her eyes opened and we were bound for life.
My baby girl, so precious and innocent,
A blank canvas about to be painted.
As her Dad, my role is to teach and protect,
Teach her responsibility and let her learn.
My shield became her shield as she matured.
A beautiful woman with a huge heart,
Giving and joyful to others in need,
Never asking for anything in return.
As she spread her wings and soared,
I knew there would be awkwardness in flight,
And, perhaps, even a crash or two.
Independence wasn’t found in first flight.
There were turbulence, voids, and gusts
That knocked her around and struck at confidence.
Each hard landing, created another runway,
Off on a new journey to find her way.
The struggles were daunting, yet she persevered.
Today, she is reflecting, hard love meant as inspiration.
She’s furious, scared, wounded, and reserved.
She took her first steps of the day, but is grounded.
She’ll fly again. She’ll soar. She’ll be amazing and free.
I might have wounded her precious heart with love,
I’m her parent and her firm ground, her beacon of hope.
My parenting will never end for my baby bird.
I’ll stop feeding her and providing shelter,
And, I’ll stop checking on her flight pattern.
She’ll find her way someday soon,
I hope it’s through the air of least resistance,
A journey I can now watch, only from a distance.
Robert Stanhope started creative writing during his Junior year of high school. In his twenties, he became a motorsports journalist and was published in a number of local, regional, and national trade publications. Now in his early 40s, Bob has returned to creatively writing, including embarking on his first novel, The Last Lie.