I Trust You'll Treat Her Well
World, I bequeath to you today one little girl in a crispy dress.. with two blue eyes...and a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs. I Trust You'll Treat Her Well.
She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning and skipping off down the street to her first day at school.
And never again will she be completely mine...
Prim and proud, she'll wave a young and independent hand this morning, and say goodbye and walk with little-lady steps to the nearby schoolhouse...
Gone will be the chattering little hoyden who lived only for play, and gone will be the delightful little gamin who roamed the yard like a proud princess with nary a care in her little world.
Now, she will learn to stand in lines...and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called...
She will learn to tune her little-girl ears for the sound of school bells, and for deadlines...
She will learn to giggle and gossip... and to look at the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy across the aisle sticks out his tongue.
Now she will learn to be jealous...and now she will learn how it is to feel hurt inside...and now she will learn how not to cry. No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch steps on a summer day and watch while an ant scurries across a crack in the sidewalk...
Or will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn to kiss lilac blossoms in the morning dew. Now she will worry about important things...like grades...and what dresses to wear...and whose best friend is whose. Now she will worry about the little boy who pulls her hair at recess time... and staying after school...and which little girls like which little boys...And the magic of books and knowledge will soon take the place of the magic of her blocks and dolls.
And she'll find her new heroes. For five full years I've been her sage and Santa Claus...her pal and playmate...her parent and friend. Now, alas, she'll learn to share her worship and adoration with her teachers (which is only right).
No longer will her parents be the smartest and greatest in the world. Today, when the first school bell rings, she'll learn how it is to be a member of the group...with all its privileges, and, of course, its disadvantages, too.
She'll learn in time that proper young ladies don't laugh out loud...or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms...or watch ants scurry across the cracks in a summer sidewalk...
Today, she'll begin to learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends. That "the group" can be a demanding mistress... and I'll stand on the porch and watch her start out on the long, long journey to becoming a woman.
So WORLD, I BEQUEATH TO YOU TODAY ONE LITTLE GIRL in a crispy dress, with two blue eyes, a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.
I TRUST YOU'LL TREAT HER WELL.
By Dan Valentine
From the book "American Essays: Sentimental Classics Designed to Make the Heart Sing".
Published by Geo. Mc Co.,
Copyright dates: 1960, 1961, 1963, 1965, and 1966 by Dan Valentine.
A special thanks to wowzone.com for having this essay posted on to your site!