My daughter is home from college for the summer, a treat that I know I may not get to enjoy too many times again.  Last summer, she lived for two months at a youth camp in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin as a live in counselor.  Who knows what next year will bring, especially since she is studying to be a teacher and will be a college junior this year.  Alyssa is a busy young lady, really not home much even when she is home — working as a cashier at Cracker Barrel, teaching flute lessons, volunteering to help with the high school marching band, as well as spending a lot of her free time with friends.  I am quite proud of my busy little girl.

Tonight I am watching Alyssa put together decorations for her dorm floor, adding to the collection of decorations she has already put together this summer.  This fall, she will be the Personnel Assistant for her dorm floor (other colleges call the position R.A.), a responsibility she is taking quite seriously.  The other night, she wrote and mailed notes to each of the freshman girls that will be on her dorm floor.  Several times, I have watched her Face Time with the other P.A. in her dorm.  When Alyssa was interviewing to be P.A., she was as nervous as I have seen her, and she was very excited when she found out that she was appointed to the position.  I received a text from her right away, then a phone call.

I love watching the careful detail she gives.  It’s the way she has always been, something that has always brought a smile to me.  When she was the drum major for her high school marching band, she gave the same kind of attention to the responsibilities that came with the position.

I am aware of the blessing my daughter is, not just to me, but to others.  Not all fathers have so many reasons to be proud of their child.

As I watch my daughter, I realize that even though I can see the influence of both myself and my wife in her, so much of what makes her special is unique to her.  I can’t take credit for a lot of what makes her the person she is.  Neither can her mother.  Oh, there are parts of her personality that reflect each of her parents, but so much of what makes Alyssa so special is what is unique only to her.

Look at her hair — curly, red, and neither of her parents has either!

She leaves for college in a few weeks.  My house will seem empty.  I miss her already!