Monday, November 23, 2015

Sixteen Years of Not Too Awful

Sixteen years ago tomorrow, I had a baby.

Not actually this baby. But equally adorable.
She arrived at 11:53 a.m. after a not unreasonably difficult labor. And for 16 years, that's how she's been: Not unreasonably difficult.

To those of you without children, that might sound like damning with faint praise. But for the parents out there, you understand. I'll bet some of you would love (or have loved) to raise a not unreasonably difficult child.

Such a creature really does exist, I promise.
Probably I've mentioned this before, but I take no credit for Precocious Daughter being the smart, funny, talented, kind person she has become. I don't know how that happened. Her dad and I just sort of stood back and let her be the sort of person she was going to be, and this is what we got.

There are no step-by-instructions for raising a good kid.
Goddamn it.
And now (or in a few hours), she's turning Sweet 16. Fortunately, she is sweet, mostly. She can be a bit mouthy, but that's because she has things to say. She cops an attitude sometimes, but at least she has her own opinions. She texts more than I'd like at times, but hey, she's got a strong network of friends.

This has been a tough year for her. Her parents split. She's had to live in a mostly unfurnished apartment for weeks because I gave almost all the furniture to her dad, and then the house refused to sell. I can't even begin to pretend I know how that must feel to a teenager.

Like this?
Bottom line: My baby turns 16 tomorrow. I am showering her with gifts, because it's a milestone and, because the fucking house finally sold, I can afford to. Her dad and I will take her and her boyfriend out to dinner. That's what you do when you have a young lady celebrating a milestone birthday, even if what you want to do is dress her in a onesie and watch episodes of "Sesame Street" until she falls asleep in your arms.

No one cares if you still remember the words
to the "Elmo's World" theme song.
Being a grownup sucks sometimes.
If I've learned anything it's that time can't change me, but I can't trace time.

Maybe David Bowie taught me that.

I don't know.

What I mean to say is: Happy Sweet 16, PDaughter. I love you more than anything in the world.

Now please start applying for college scholarships, because my ass is broke, and universities don't give a crap if you have a dazzling smile.

But I do. And your smile makes happy.

Happy Birthday, sweet pea.

Thanks for being not unreasonably difficult.


  1. Happy sixteenth to your daughter. And give yourself more credit. The fact that your daughter has stayed by you says as much about you as it does her.

  2. Hoppy Bathday, PD. Have a hopping bath to celebrate :)

  3. Happy birthday to PD! I agree with Christopher wholeheartedly.


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