Personal Musings


My daughter Annabelle was a tiny thing when she was born. During her first few weeks alive, I used to feed her with a syringe in my lap because she wouldn’t latch while nursing. She looked so very fragile to me during those days. I was scared to hold her because I thought I’d break her.

Today she officially became a teenager. She’s not tiny anymore and if I tried to lift her, I’d throw out my back. She’s a speck of dust away from an even six feet tall. Her goal, she tells me repeatedly, is to be taller than me one day. I’m not sure if she’ll add another four inches to her height, but with the way she is growing, I’m not betting against it. Sometimes I feel like I’m looking her eye to eye as is. She already towers my wife, which is somewhat hilarious.

She has no trouble eating now. If anything, we have trouble keeping her fed because she’s a growing girl and can throw down two cheeseburgers and a basket of fries from the “hamburger shop,” as she once called it, in five minutes flat.

Man, young kids can eat. Between her and my son, I feel like I need to take a loan out from the bank.

Being the age she is now isn’t easy for a girl. As her dad, my hope is I am doing at least a passable job of helping her navigate these years. My wife, of course, knows better than me how girls treat other girls at this stage in their life.

She had her hair cut this weekend and got bangs for the first time ever. She’s been reluctant to cut her hair for going on forever and was proud to have done this. Then she goes to school and someone makes an errant comment about how it looks.

Of course, I tell her some people are just jackasses and have to have a comment about everything. That’s life. And it may seem minor to most reading this, but as a society, we could stand to not have an opinion about everything. Most opinions are pointless and rooted, typically, in insecurity or jealousy — a reflection of the opinionated person’s inner state more than whom it’s directed.

She has a computer and reads my blog sometimes, so if you’re reading this now or at some point in the future, I want you to know I love your hair and your bangs.

I also love these things about you. You are:

  • kind
  • creative
  • beautiful
  • smart
  • athletic
  • your own person

And while you may not do everything your mom and I ask, because, well: we’re your parents and you have inherited my anti-authoritarian gene, we’ll always be here for you in your life no matter what. It doesn’t matter how old you get or how much gray hair has sprouted from the roots of your head — and it will, so remember that when you’re pointing out your Mama’s 🙂

To use a basketball reference, since you love playing: sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way. But like I told you on the ride to your co-ed YMCA game back when you were nine years old and none of the boys would pass the ball to you, you have to get in there and rebound. No matter what life throws at you, and it will throw a plethora of janky stuff your way, you can bounce back from it.

Five years ago, I wrote a short essay called “Slow Down, Time.” It’s as relevant today as you turn thirteen as it was when you turned eight years old. Man, time flies. Slow down, time! Slow down!

Happy birthday Noodle.

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