True Grit

1st Birthday Bear

When we brought her home from the hospital, our sons took one look at her blanket and said, “Pink Stinks.”  Surviving a home with built-in older brothers, one of whom wanted to name her “Hotdog,” has put a fair amount of grit in Jennifer, our youngest and only daughter.    These boys have tortured her dolls simply to spark a reaction.  They have smothered her in “the dutch oven” and are guilty of too much monkey-in-the-middle.    I drew the line when at the tender age of four, they had filled a water bucket up in the front yard and told her she was old enough to learn how to “breathe under water.”

My Stinky-Winkie is 24 years old as of this writing.   Her brothers are 30 and 28.   She grew up with Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, Power Rangers, and Leo DiCaprio.  Each October she morphed into a princess, a butterfly, a witch, or a superhero.  She danced.  She brought me hand picked flowers.  She loves traditions and decorating the Christmas tree.   The years have clicked past so fast and now, when I look at her, I see the most amazing woman…a culmination of life experience and education infused with kindness, common sense, and wit.

Daddy’s Baby Girl

She is a mother now.  My grand-doggie is about 5 lbs., has dark chocolate eyes, and a long tail that is almost as long as it’s body.  Our “Hotdog” is Lola; a red mini-dachshund, and she loves her momma.

Lola Bear

Jennifer and I share a knowing, a commonality, a connection that I know will pass to the next generation.   This is what makes daughters so SO special.  The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.  She is my finest hour; my hope.  When I look at her, I see my perfect self in the most selfless way.

A turning point:    I’ll never forget the time we went shopping because I needed an outfit.  Jennifer was all of 15.  A black and white polka dot dress caught my attention so I picked it up.   In pure SWAT-team mode, she grabbed my arm, and urgently demanded,  “Put that back, Mom, right now.  That’s for old people.  I’m trying to save you.”   Surprised and mildly offended, I argued on behalf of my selection.  My case wasn’t complete before an obviously geriatric grey haired lady, supported by a cane, appeared from the fitting rooms, wearing “my” outfit.   Jennifer shot me a victory look and had the grace to not say another word.  We still laugh about it.

When the kids were little, I was so smart.  They would ask me something and I could give a satisfactory answer or at least get by.  They bought it.  Every time.  When they started questioning me, the backup standard was, “Because I said so.”    That response was golden for a long time.  These days they see my games and call me out or google everything.   Even my best explanations are suspect until verified.   I was gifted in the answer department until the damn Internet came along.

One day Jennifer will find all this out and I will sit on the sidelines, watching and smiling inside.



1st Day of Kindergarten

Our World Traveler




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