You missed the day she came into the world,
Maybe you doubted she was your own?
You missed the first time she ever spoke,
You missed the first time she learned to count,
And read her first novel.
You missed her wide-eyes,
Her big dreams
Of being a princess, a doctor and an astronaut.
You missed her classic fits,
When she refused to eat.
You missed seeing how frail and weak she’d get when she was sick.
You missed her laugh until she cried.
You missed seeing her first attempts at everything.
You missed seeing her win awards
And hear other parents gush about how they wish they had a child like yours.
You missed her fear of snakes, then of spiders, then needles, then geckos.
You missed being there to protect her from them all.
You missed being able to threaten to kill any boy who came near her.
You missed the chance to find out who her friends were.
You missed the pageants, the road trips,
The low points and the triumphs.
You missed being a father to a little girl.
She never gave up,
Even though it felt like you did.
You missed being a pillar of strength to a fragile kid.
And all the while your daughter grew up.
You missed it.