A few mornings back, I was awakened bright and early to noise coming from my livingroom. I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed and walked through the three rooms of our tiny railroad apartment to find my daughter Meghan sitting on the couch watching TV. There was a little tray table set up in front of her with a bowl of cereal on it, a glass of orange juice on one side of the bowl and the remote on the other side. I asked her if she was OK. “I'm fine, Dad,” Meghan happily replied. “I made my own breakfast today and everything!”

Moments like this are both uplifting and depressing at the same time to a parent. I was really proud to see that my daughter was taking care of herself so well already. But I was also reminded that every day Meghan gets one step closer to not needing to rely on her mother and me anymore. Not for everything, anyway. Certainly not the way she used to.

Watching Meg get ready for camp every morning this summer has been an experience, too. She seems to have gone from an infant to a young lady overnight. Her bright red Ridgewood Youth Council T-shirt looks adorable on her. She prefers her long blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail these days, which only accents her beautiful face and crystal blue eyes even more. And watching Meghan strut down the street, a few steps ahead of mom and dad on her way to camp, is priceless. It is hard to believe how much Meg has grown in just under seven years. She will be starting 2nd grade in the fall, which blows me away. It still seems like just yesterday we were bringing Meghan home from the hospital. Apparently time does fly when you're having fun. I have asked Meghan many times to stop growing up so fast. She just laughs at me. Probably because Meg knows how much trouble I am in for when the teen years get here!