Thirteen year-old girls are curious people but I can’t say if I have one who is more curious than the others.
What I know is that sometimes my baby girl is far too much like her father and willing to walk where angels fear to tread.
A while back she asked me to tell her about the girls that came before her mother and was upset when I didn’t share much.
Yet she persisted and pushed for me to give her something so when she asked me to tell her about the last girl I kissed I told her I remembered almost everything.
Her eyes got wide and she sat forward and waited for me to provide some juicy details.
“Dad, you are not saying anything.”
“You wouldn’t want a father who kisses and tells now would you.”
“Dad, can’t you tell me something.”
“She liked kissing me.”
“Did she love you?”
“She said she did.”
“Did you love her?”
“A little bit.”
“I hope you didn’t tell her that. Girls hate when guys do stuff like that.”
She pauses and exclaims, “you made her crazy. You gave her a hard time, didn’t you.”
The Last Night
They are sleeping in Odessa tonight and I am enjoying the last night alone here wondering what the next chapter of life is going to look like.
Got an email from my daughter’s soccer coach introducing himself and letting us know that our first practice will be tomorrow night.
I don’t know if the family will get here soon enough for us to make our appearance or if that precocious 13 year-old will be up for practice.
But we’ll find out.
In the interim I look at the list of email addresses knowing I probably won’t recognize a single name.
It is a mix of business and personal addresses tons of yahoos, gmails, verizons with a splunk mixed in.
That last one catches my eye because it looks like a typo and I wonder if it is supposed to be spunk or spunky.
I forward the email on and call the aforementioned precocious daughter to let her know she is on a team and will get a chance to start meeting other girls.
She tells me I am not to try to make friends for her and I tell her not to worry because I am no one believes I am a 13-year-old girl.
“They arrest people for doing that kind of thing.”
I can feel her rolling her eyes at me and feel a broad smile cross my face.
Not because I am trying to tease her but because I miss my girl and I am ready to live together again.
I can hear her brother’s voice in the background and I shake my head because of how damn deep it is. I shouldn’t be surprised because I have spoken to him a million times and yet I am.
He is a long way from being a man, but if you had never met him and only spoke to him on the phone he could fool you.
Pulling Them Up Behind Me
They’re all excited about the new adventure and all pissed off with me. Doesn’t matter whether they believe the opportunity that took us here is great or not, it is a big change.
A big change that I am blamed for and it is up to me to help them begin to see as I do. It is not impossible but it might be an uphill struggle for a bit.
A long while back we all sat in a room and I told them if I needed to drag them up the mountain behind me I would do so.
“I do what is required and I make my decisions based upon the best information available to me at the time and will not spend countless hours analyzing what cannot be analyzed. Sometimes you have to take a risk.”
After the past 18 months I am convinced there is nothing left but to try this and to see what happens. I can’t do any more than I have done and yet I keep searching and thinking.
She comes at me again with a different set of questions but all geared around the same sort of theme.
“Dad, I don’t really want a lot of details but I do want some basic information about those other girls. Were they blonde or brunette?”
“Most were brunette, blackish hair.”
“Were they short or tall?”
“I don’t know. There was one who was about 5’7, another who was almost 5’10 and several who were like 5’3.”
“Was mom the only one you talked about getting married with?”
“I think I had conversations with some of the others.”
“Oh, so you had a commitment issue.”
“Not me, some of those girls needed to be committed, they were crazy.”
I flash her a big smile and just as I expect to get a giant eye roll her phone rings.
Saved by the bell.
She doesn’t know I have heard some of the conversations with her friends about boys. I figure that she is investigating because it is easier to ask me a few questions than some of the guys she talks to.
Oh yes, my baby girl is talking to boys and I am doing my best to not make a big deal of it. But I am not going to ignore it either.
She is not ready for some of this and I want it to proceed slowly. She doesn’t know it yet but there will be ample time for this boy-girl stuff down the road.
I want her to have one of those amazing relationships with moments like Neruda alludes to, but not until she a dozen years older or at least six or seven.
There is way too much going on right now and I just want a chance to be an ordinary dad who cheers on his soccer playing daughter.
That is not too much too ask…right.