Monday, April 18, 2011

Sweet Child O' Mine

"You two look too young to have a daughter out on a first date."

The waitress at the Mall of Georgia Longhorn got a good tip. I was stressed, nursing a beer. My wife was too happy for the occasion and it was starting to annoy me. When Bobina told our server that we needed the check because we had to go pick up our teenage daughter and her friend who is a boy at Macaroni Grill next door; the compliment soothed the savage beast inside me.

Friday, I lost the battle but won the war. My 15 year old daughter, Tay, went on her first d d d d d ugh, DATE. I grew up as a parent.

Her dress was blue and gray. Her hair shimmered in the sundown. There was makeup applied, but it wasn't too much. The number on the calendar marked one year from the day she started being friends with her friend who is a boy. Bobina started priming me a month earlier for Tay's request, a date, a real one, where they were alone in a restaurant and a movie theater with her mom and I close by; with weapons.

My blog is a record so for prosterity, I think Tay is too young to date. I was 16 when I went on my first one and I was ridiculously unprepared. I was a year removed from getting giddy over superhero comic books and saying the word boobie without doubling over in laughter. Some would say I am not removed from either of those. There are 5 people in my house. The dog thinks he's human. My vote doesn't count for much. I know living with 4 women, I have to pick my battles. Tay is an amazing girl. She makes good grades, she busts her tail being a cheerleader, she helps around the house, and when we need her, she's good to her sisters. Her friend who is a boy kinda sorta almost reminds me of me. He seems ok. If there is a 15 year old girl who "deserves" to be trusted on a date, it's Tay.

Becoming a parent of a 12 year old wasn't that big of a deal three years ago. I talked about it here: . Being a parent of a 15 year old is a huge deal.

I'm uncool, not talked to often, and required to have the car ready at her word with checkbook in hand. Bobina tells me to adjust, get over it, and get ready for the other two kids to be teenagers in a few years. Friday night, I took a major step toward being over my issues and getting ready.

Bobina and I had dinner, got our egos stroked by the waitress, took Tay and her friend who is a boy to the movies, then walked around Target for a while. Getting a Superman t-shirt and toilet paper didn't make me less nervous about Tay being alone with her friend. The end of the night was anti-climatic. A thunderstorm ripped through the area bringing lightning and sheets of rain. Tay's smile and Bobina's attitude were the only thing better than the waitress' suck up.

I know this isn't the last I'll hear of Tay wanting to be more independent. She starts driving this month. Getting Friday night out of the way meant a lot to me and her mom. For me to be better about Tay being on the road by herself with a friend who may or may not be a boy, I'll need more than a flattering waitress, one beer, and an emotionally centered wife.

I feel like rocking, maybe even doing a snake dance. So, today's song is from Guns N Roses. Slash's opening riff and Axl's vocal used to mean something else to me. Now, I think about my Tay and her eyes of the bluest skies. She gets them from Bobina. They're both showing me how to be the man I want to be.

Where do we go now? Where do we go now?'s Guns...


  1. What a momentous occasion! I understand you being nervous as I, yes I, was once a 15 year old girl and know how that works to stress a dad out. Good for you for giving her a little space to grow up. She will respect you so much more for trusting her than for locking her down and just assuming she will be up to no good. That's maturity at it's finest and you should be proud of yourself. And really, any excuse to rock out to G-N-F'ing-R on a Monday morning is a "win" in my book.

  2. Classic!: "Getting a Superman t-shirt and toilet paper didn't make me less nervous about Tay being alone with her friend."
    Who may or may not be a boy :)
    This was a precious post. She sounds like a great girl, and you're doing a super job. For what it's worth, I had my first date at 15, and I turned out alright.

  3. I feel your pain. Letting our daughter go on her first date verged on painful. We had to finally trust that we did our job as parents and that she would make good choices.

    I'm sure you and Bobina did a fine job raising Tay to be a well-adjusted and smart young lady.

    Still, my daughter is a few months shy of 22, and I still worry for her.

  4. Oh, this made me all teary. Your girls are so lucky!

  5. Guns and Roses??? REALLY!!!?? Come on Dude, you're killing me. ;)

  6. Are you still in a bit of denial? Is that why "he is a friend who is boy" instead of a "boyfriend"?

  7. Best part: Shopping at Target for the TP. I had to tell Dan why I was laughing so hard. So "Parent-y". After explaining your predicament, he exhaled hard and pursed his lips. Going to lots of fun in our household 12 years from now.

  8. I can't even imagine what it must feel like for a father to watch his little girl go on her first date. It's beautiful how you are chronicling the events as your daughters grow because they become adults all too soon.

    She is a beautiful young lady, too, Lance!

  9. @Lisa/Randy - we talked, aye aye aye aye,where do we go now?

    @Dawn - I know girls mature quicker. Thanks for laughing at my Target shopping.

    @Tar Rah - you are a brilliant mother. You, Bobina and I will never stop worrying. Thank you.

    @Jana - thanks, now go get a tissue. You're such a girl.

    @Cindy/C Lo - strap on a head band and start snakedancin

    @Massi - shutup, I call denial "my truth" lol

    @Mollie - hilarious...Tell dan if he needs a dude to talk to about it, I will have gone through it 3 time before he does it 1 time.

    @Kat - it's hard but exciting...and I know, I mean thank you...she's beautiful

  10. This is great. Although I love your fiction. I enjoy the little glimpses into your real life.

    Snake Dance. Rock it man!!!!

  11. Lance, this hits much to close to home, as I am daddy to a four year old attitude adjustment. I am dreading the day that I am in your shoes. Just thinking about is starting to make me queezy and panicky. How will I ever make in twelve years if I am freaking out now? I hope your still blogging then, as I am sure to need advice on how you have managed to keep a level? head.

  12. @Girl@rock show .... my personal posts get all the attention...thank you for reading both types.

    @ib - i hope I am am blogging then too...worst case, scenario, we'll trade numbers. Any advice I can help with I will. Raising little girls is fun but challenging

  13. You really don't look like the dad of three teen and tween girls-you still have hair and are smiling! :)


  14. Aw... good Dad!

    As the oldest, totally responsible daughter of great parents, I can honestly say if you continue remain present without being a pain in the ass--all will be well.

    She's lovely, and you?

    Bobina's right, you'll get over it.

  15. I love how you call him 'friend who is a boy'. That is such a dad move and one no doubt that I will make soon enough.

  16. Wonderful post- both the words and the song. It gets me every time, that little hum before he plugs in. We know these things are stage managed from first shot to last- but the romantic parts of my soul want it to just be a spontaneous jam.