My daughter woke up this morning without any tattoos.
I was a bit surprised by this given that we are now one day past her seventh birthday. She’s a pastor’s kid. According to the conventional wisdom, it’s ordained in the annals of time that she will be wild. And if the way people talk is any indication, it’s going to come sooner rather than later. It seems that every couple of days, people who know us both give me that knowing, wide-eyed look and decree, as if they can see the future perfectly, that she is going to be boy-crazy, unruly, and all of those things that have become the stereotype of a rebellious teenage girl.
It’s like every pastor’s kid has to be like Ariel Moore from Footloose.
Which is why I was taken aback this morning when she woke up not wearing cowboy boots over her jeans and unloading a string a profanities on her way to the breakfast table. After all, she’s now seven going on seventeen.
It’s only a matter of time, right?
I don’t know what the future holds. Maybe she will be rebellious. Maybe she will be boy-crazy. Maybe she will cause me a feature-length-film-worthy batch of heartache when she’s a teenager.
But maybe not.
Maybe she’ll find peace in creating art. Maybe she’ll discover joy in making people laugh. Maybe she’ll see suffering in places that breaks her strong, compassionate heart and motivates her to serve. Maybe she’ll understand God’s great love for her and spend her days seeking His purpose for her life. Maybe she’ll travel the world, bringing help and hope to others. Maybe she’ll be stirred by a great cause and use her charm in rallying people to make a difference. Maybe she’ll dance. Maybe she’ll sing. Maybe she’ll move with the rhythms of the Song that’s been playing since before time began.
Maybe she’ll bring me so much joy that my heart nearly bursts from it.
I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I know this. I will not assume the worst. I’ll let other people do that. It’s what people do. I’m going to choose to look for the best in her and believe the best for her. I think that’s what she needs from me, probably more than anything else besides love. I’m going to pray for her. I’m going to spend time with her. I’m going to teach her. I’m going to laugh with her. I’m going to hold her hand in mine and kiss her face and squeeze her tightly. I’m going to be there for her.
And with any luck, that inevitable tattoo will be a heart with the word “Daddy” inside it.