I'm feeling old this week. My daughter is turning 16 this Friday.
I totally identify with Martina McBride's song, "Teenage Daughters." When did they grow up? We (parents) used to be the cool ones.
Like most teenagers, Dad's "wisdom," is usually fairly boring and cumbersome upon the average teen's mind. So, I thought I would use my blog to offer her up some random advice, even though odds of her reading this are slim to none.
Slow Down - Yes, consider this a formal warning, that this Friday, there will be another "newbie" on a road near you. So far, she's exhibited nothing but good driving habits, but I can remember when I turned 16. Soon thereafter, I became relaxed behind the wheel. Sometimes a bit too relaxed, when that accelerator foot became a bit too heavy at times.
Part-time work is okay - While I admire the effort to want to work as much as one can while still going to school, to gather as much money as possible for clothing and other "girl stuff," work will become a daily ritual soon enough. Side note, Wouldn't it be great if the U.S. adopted a 20 hour work week for the same, full time pay? Oh sure, a person can dream.
Enjoy your friends - The time is coming, when in most cases, we lose track of our "BFF's." We get caught up in college, jobs, bills and everything else that comes along. Take the time to have fun with them while you still have the time.
Never Forget That I Am Your Father - Oh sure, we turn 16 and begin to experience more freedom. But remember, Daddy can still shut it all down. Cars, phones, the entire social scene, if need be. All I have to do, it threaten to walk through the living room when her friends are visiting, wearing my sleeveless t-shirt that says "Powered By Gravy," on it and my camo shorts. That serves as instant teen kryptonite for months. I actually once overheard one of her friends say "he does kinda look like a bald Larry The Cable Guy."
Remember To Breathe and Enjoy This Time - Seems more and more, like we're overwhelming kids with silly restrictions at school, that we didn't used to have and probably still don't need. More importance than ever, is being applied to state test scores, as well as SAT and ACT scores. In addition, homework has seemed to become part two of the school day. I remind you to enjoy this time; savor it. Because it will be gone before you know it. Yet, at the same time remember, no one will care in 10 years what brand of jeans you wore, or who was most popular in school. Everyone ultimately stands on their own and the decisions they make.
Take It One Day At A Time - Keep learning, and try to find something you enjoy in each day, because the older you get, the faster they fly by.
And remember, no matter how old you become, you'll always be my little girl.
Happy 16th Birthday.