Happy birthday to you:
You’re now 19 years old
By GRAHAM OSTEEN
Editor and Publisher
My little girl turned 19 yesterday. I know that’s hard to believe since I seem so young and hip, but it’s true.
It was an amazingly quick journey from tiny shoes and endless dance recitals to college and adulthood, and there are plenty of surprises in store. But so far, so good.
I’ve started to realize that a father can always see the little girl in his own daughter, even when she’s a young woman. There’s a certain unmistakable beauty and innocence that never goes away. Having said that, I’m sorry to inform you, sweetheart, that we fathers don’t really like your boyfriends all that much, even when they’re acting like perfect gentlemen. That’s just the way it is. I saw it on the Discovery channel.
I have been blessed with a daughter and a son, and I can say with certainty that boys are a wholly different animal. They become men – usually just like their obstinate fathers – so the relationship between a father and son is not always easy. It’s not really comparable to a relationship with a daughter, and don’t ask me to explain it because it’s a man thing.
From the time she can talk until she’s a mother herself, all a daughter has to say to her father is, “Hi Daddy,” and it’s all over. No father with a speck of heart can say no to those majestic little creatures, and they realize this instinctively and take advantage of it fully from an early age.
My baby girl is coming to the end of her freshman year in college, and she’s already made me a very proud father.
She hasn’t been spotted in any of those “Girls Gone Wild” videos with Snoop Doggy Dog, she survived her first college spring break without major incident, and she still seems to love her old man even though he’s getting older, balder and reportedly more geeky all the time. Fathers appreciate this sort of unconditional love from their baby girls. Just tell us we’re still cool, funny and your sorority sisters think we’re “hot,” and you’ll keep us firmly under your little thumbs. We’re simpletons.
One more piece of advice as you get older: Please remember to always tell your Mama first if it’s something you think Dads don’t want to hear. When in doubt, we don’t want to know. We’re very sensitive when it comes to our daughters, so it’s best to keep us in the dark and just be nice to us. Like a family pet.
Anyway, happy birthday. Your daddy loves you, and you’re the greatest daughter in the world.