When my only daughter was in her late teens she went to live with her dad; my discipline too harsh, my boundaries for her, too restricting. The official reason, "I miss you, I want to get to know you better" struck just the right chord with him (and me).
Yet, I was angry. I was sad. I was afraid for her as she was spinning out of control.
It wasn't long before several piles of shit hit the fan.
Clean-up was a bitch.
But, clean-up we all did. She matured. I understood. He....well, he didn't do much of anything, which probably was the best thing he could do to help my only daughter and me repair, rebuild, and grow together.
Whenever talking about my son and daughter I can often be heard saying that they are as different as night and day. And they are with regard to they personalities and their separate approaches to the here-and-now, the day-to-day. But, they are both performers, thinkers, talkers . . . and more.
And while we are all, not only housemates, but friends, my only daughter and me are . . . well,, just different than my son and me.
Which is fine as as I speak both son and daughter.
On this, my only daughter's twenty-eighth birthday, I want to thank her for challenging me. I want to thank her for being the loud, active, funny, animal loving, pop-culture embracing, passionate seeker of all life has to offer girl, young woman she has been, continues to be.
I want to assure her than I am proud of her and proud to have played any role in her development.
Go for your dreams dear daughter. Don't hold back. Don't be afraid. Don't settle.
May you have the happiest of happy days and may there be more and more and even more ahead.