eldest and most expensive daughter,
Well, the time has finally come for you to graduate from high school,
spread your wings and discover exciting, new ways to spend my cash
It seems like only yesterday that you were first hinting to your
parents (especially me) that you were really the one in charge and
that you just planned to humor us for the next 18 years.
Now that I look back, it was pretty clear that you always had me
completely outmatched. I still remember one time when you had just
finished your bottle, and I lifted you up over my head to make you
giggle. It was such a precious moment for me as I laughed along
with you, looked up into your beautiful eyes-and watched you spit
up directly into my mouth. I'll never forget that taste of partially
digested Similac, and I'm so glad I could share it with you.
Then there was the time when you were around three years old and
requested a doctor set for Christmas-not one of those inexpensive
plastic ones made by Fisher-Price, but a REAL doctor set. (When
I was that age, I was still trying to determine whether dirt was
edible.) I spent a good part of early December that year browsing
through the local medical supply shops looking for the perfect bedpan
and learning that the kidney-shaped vomit bowl is really called
an "emesis basin." Good times!
Throughout your pre-teen years, I watched in amazement as you would
happily get us up at 5:00 AM to attend horseback riding competitions,
knowing even back then that I could scarcely perform basic bodily
functions at that time of day. And throughout high school, you have
been so admirably involved in National Honor Society, academic competitions,
Zonta Club, and your dance and drill team. In contrast, I spent
most of my high school years grooming my mullet and fruitlessly
trying to convince a girl-any girl-to make out with me under the
In a few short days, I'll swell with pride when I watch you graduate
with honors in the top ten percent of your high school class, remembering
that I graduated with horrors at the thought of trying to calculate
I know I'm not quite the same dad I was when you were little as
the years have taken their toll. My joints are constantly committing
acts of insurrection against the rest of my carcass. The other day,
I'm pretty sure I hyperextended my earlobe while shaving. And as
I sit writing this column, I do so with searing pain radiating down
my neck from reaching too far in the shower to shampoo my back hair.
Heck, these days, a simple sneeze puts my entire musculoskeletal
system at risk of collapse.
Along with my physical descent into fossilization, you have been
so patient as you've grown up with my ongoing grouchiness, vanity,
embarrassing dad jokes, and title as the Grand Master of Cringey
No, I'm afraid you didn't win the lottery when it came to dads.
In fact, you barely won the dad version of a free squirt of hand
sanitizer available at the entrance of Wal-Mart.
But I do love you more than life, and I can't tell you how proud
your mom and I are of your accomplishments. I thank the Lord every
day that He gave you to us-our brave, determined girl-and I pray
that as you and the other seniors in the class of 2021 take your
journey through adulthood, you'll remember to laugh a lot, love
a lot, and keep your mouth closed when you lift your baby over your
Dad/The Grand Master of Cringey "Boomers"