Monday, April 5, 2010

My Teenager and I

My little girl turned thirteen a few months ago. A teenager. That dreaded eight-letter word that all parents are expected to fear – here comes the eye rolling, the disowning, the body piercings, the rebellion and the rejection of everything I stand for. Right? Wrong.

I took my daughters, my teenager and my ten-year old, on a short trip to Telluride last week. As we were strolling through town, Emma, my teen, reached out for my hand, held it for three blocks and said, “I love you Daddy.”

And that’s all I need. Right there in that moment. Even though I’m not with her every night, I don’t think there’s been a night yet in thirteen years, when I haven’t told her that I love her and she’s told me the same.

Emma and I play soccer and basketball and foosball together. We go bike riding and hiking, camping and skiing. I’ve directed her in countless theater productions. I think I’m number two in her texting sent box after her best friend Erika. We read together, laugh together, cry together, and sometimes have long talks in the dark well past her bedtime.

She’s told me that I’m not funny, I’m not cool, and I need a haircut. But other than that, I think we’re doing okay, my teenager and I. And I’ll take that for as long as it lasts.