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Written By Mark Kevin Smith

I was talking to my oldest daughter tonight and realized that she is at the age, that she is just beginning to live the best years of her life. This epiphany is only realized by memories of my own youth, and I must state, that I’m extremely happy at my age now, and would not go back for anything, but there is no denying it, that those certain years which are different for all of us, were just something special.
My daughter is 23, and is a fiercely independent, free, wild spirit, as I was at her age, only being a male made it a bit different. I told her, that at her age, she has about 15 of her best years ahead of her, give or take a few. I told her to enjoy every second of those years and stay safe. As I talked to her I had a freight train of emotions come rushing through my head all at once, remembering those years that she now will be experiencing. About those that will come in and out of her life, and the ones that will affect her forever, the loves, losses, joy, fulfillment, terror, heartache and unbelievable self worth, at not having to rely on anyone for anything, for what feels like the rest of your life.
I am very proud of my daughter, she makes a very good living, she will not judge others, and she will not accept being judged by others. She is everyone’s best friend or worst nightmare depending on how she is treated. She is walking, no running down the same path that I did when I was her age, it’s maybe not the best path, but I personally wouldn’t change a thing, it made me who I am today. Her best friend is fun, and living in the moment, although she has learned a certain amount of responsibility that is part of, coming of age.
My daughter will have my complete support as she goes through life, and a little advice when needed. Although if you know anyone that’s in their 20’s and already doesn’t know everything I would be surprised. I sure thought I did. Oh well, that’s another story, or are they the same it’s hard to tell at times. I love my daughter very deeply, and I must let her live her own journey through life, hell, that’s what makes it so scary and exciting at the sametime. If she falls I will pick her up, dust her off and send her back out there, after all I’m her father that’s what I’m supposed to do. Really all I can do is say prayers for her safety and well being. Her life is now entirely hers to live, and I shall continue to encourage her to live it to the fullest every single day, without regrets.