12 years ago my daughter Amy graduated from afternoon Kindergarten and started first grade which meant going to school all-day. That was when we started going out to breakfast together once a week.
When we first started we would always go to Einstein Bagels and she would insist on sitting on the high chairs with the high tables. She was so cute! She has always been cute! For a couple years we frequented Caribou Coffee and we would try to get a seat near the fire place in the winter or on the comfy couch the rest of the year. The last two years it has been nothing but Starbucks…partly because we both love it and partly because she works there and gets us a partner discount!
I don’t remember a single early morning trip where the conversation was so important that it permanently changed either of our lives. But I do remember lots of talk about school, friends, the future, God, family, favorite music, lacrosse, coffee-snobbery, doubts, church, colleges, dating, the poor, how to make a difference, her “junior high girls”, Mexico and Rwanda trips, jobs, money, family, owning your “stuff”, saving for college, grades, graduating early and more. On second thought, maybe the culmination of all those conversations did change our lives. And maybe that is how love, community and a father-daughter relationship grow – one conversation at a time. I am so grateful for those early morning conversations and each of those breakfast trips with Amy. It’s one of those things I know I will never regret.
This week we left our house a little early and made our last breakfast trip of the school year. As we got into the car Amy turned on her favorite country music station (she didn’t get that from me!). When she turned it up it was Trace Adkins singing “You’re Gonna Miss This”. It’s a song about watching your little girl grow up and the chorus goes: “You’re gonna miss this; You’re gonna want this back; You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast. These are some good times; So take a good look around; You may not know it now, but you’re gonna miss this.” I could feel my throat drying up and my eyes swelling. Yeah, it’s a pretty sappy country song, but I was feeling pretty sappy. The picture at the top of this post is our last breakfast trip – I am gonna miss this.