“The days are long and the years are short.” I never really understood that quote until I became a mom. In the blink of an eye my kids are growing up. This has been evidenced in the last couple of weeks, as my daughter has found herself a fella.

As a parent to a pre-teen I was apprehensive about this whole boy thing. However, I thought back to my own childhood and the fact that my dad did NOT want me to have a boyfriend. I had them anyways. I just didn’t tell. As a parent, I don’t want my child to ever keep anything from me. I want them to be able to come to with their successes and failures. Creating that line of communication starts now.

Now, her daddy. He is……adjusting. I think. After a long talk we came to a consensus. We created guidelines and rules. So first of all, she won’t be going on any dates. That was a given. She is 11. She doesn’t have a phone of her own, so she uses my phone to message and video chat with him. (I can read everything) She can do this during times when we aren’t eating, or having family time. She can get grounded from being allowed to talk. Finally, if they are around each other, they have to be in my view at all times. This only occurs at baseball/softball games, so that is easy.

So, let me tell you about this boy. First of all, he asked me if she could date. When I gave him the rules, he said “Yes ma’am”. He then told me she was a good person, and he respected that she was a Christian. His momma is definitely raising him right.

We have taken her to watch him play a couple of his baseball games. During this time, she sits by the fence and cheers him on. When he hit one to the fence she jumped up and yelled. However, she also coaches like the best of them. She tells him he has to swing at the good ones, to straighten it out, and that he has two on him.

He encourages and helps her too. He showed her how to position her arms to hit farther. He told her if she hits one to the outfield he will buy her a slushy. He told me several days ago that he was going to buy her flowers and give them to her at her next game. We managed to keep it a surprise, and true to his word, he gave them to her yesterday. Her game was cancelled due to the rain, but his was still on. In front of a lot of people he brought her flowers. It was a very sweet moment to watch for my daughter. Later, she cried. They now have a very prominent place in her room.

My daughter and I have actually grown closer during these last few days. She tells me how she feels, and we talk about how she should handle certain things. We are building a line of communication that hopefully will allow her to come to me with the bigger things later on. MUCH, MUCH LATER.

Here is what is also happening. She is learning how to treat others. How to be supportive. How to encourage, but also provide guidance. She is also learning how to be treated. Luckily, this fella is a good one, and he is setting the bar high for anyone else later on.

My daughter has had a rough start in life. She has been through a lot for her young age. Many of the lessons she has learned up to this point are lessons about not depending on others, and guarding her heart. I am witnessing a transformation in her that is inspiring. She is growing up before my very eyes, and she is well on her way to being a Proverbs 31 woman. Someone with virtue, compassion, love, dignity, and loyalty.

Someday, I am sure I will have to help her cope with loss and heartbreak. We will eat large bowls of cookie dough ice cream, and watch sappy movies and cry. But, even that will be a lesson in itself.

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