Hey honey,

Your mother and I love you lots and lots. She may love you more, but the difference is minimal and is because of more time spent with you early in the relationship. Please don't judge my love for you based on:

1. My fashion

I don't care what I wear. There was a time when I was just as picky as you, my lovely daughter, about what I was seen in publicly. Those days have passed like a comb through the space where I used to have hair.

"Are you really wearing that?" you say to me when friends are coming over. No, of course not. This is only what I am wearing as I make the decision on what I will be wearing when your friends come over. Once everyone has cleared my outfit through a vote I will wear whatever I feel like. Which may include these shorts, my tire sandals and my "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore wears a dress" tee-shirt.

2. My driving skills

I am sorry but I cannot tell a story and drive at the same time. Your mother knew this about me before we married. When I regal the car with my fascinating past both the speed of the car and time itself will slow to the pace of pond water. My story will always come first. How else will you learn anything?

Speaking of you learning, I have stuff to tell you and If I don't tell you the moment I think of it I will not remember what I was going to say. So I am going to spit it out exactly when I remember. Please don't roll your eyes when I say to you (in the middle of taking your prom photos) that your laundry is starting to move on its own.

3. My truck

If you ask me for a ride, I will take you in the Bruce experience. I like my truck. If you had been through half the things with me that Bruce has, you would like it too. Your problem with my truck is simply an issue of immaturity. And upholstery is over-rated.

4. Social media

You are not the only one with a Facebook account. I will comment on your recent fish-faced selfie in your new sparkly tube-top-thing. It won't be a "like", but more of a "what on earth were you thinking as you left the house this morning?" And if you un-friend me you will not be leaving the house again until you are 23.

5. My singing

Get used to it. My father did not pay for six and a half years of college for me to not sing at the top of my lungs when Captain & Tennille, The Carpenters or Christopher Cross come on the radio. I will probably sing to your music as well if I discover that any of your music actually has a tune.

6. My civic pride

I will continue to show off my cool chicken coop/lawnmower/Halloween decoration storage unit to anyone who expresses interest. I spent too much time on the double insulated windows and electronic key pad to have my contribution to the neighborhood go underappreciated.

7. Bad timing

I will tell you not to have sex or do drugs, and I will say it in front of your friends. I am hoping that if you have a moment of weakness, one of them will say to you, "But your dad said not to!".

8. Well meant and appropriate pharmaceuticals

At 9:30 at night I take a pill so that I can make it through a night of your mother snoring. Don't pretend you haven't heard the snoring. The pill sometimes makes me" a little more lenient, shall we say, than I am ordinarily. At this time if you get permission to paint your room, camp out with your boyfriend until next Tuesday, or skip church for a bowling tourney, you will find yourself in a smack load of trouble. Also, I tend to lose track of my pajamas as the night wears on, so your mother has suggested that you stay in your room if you hear someone in the kitchen.

In turn, I will not balk if you continue to sink so low into your car seat when riding with me so that no one can see you. Your friends can continue assuming that you move from place to place by federation approved teleportation.

Neither will I be offended if you ask me to drop you off at the corner - though I can't promise not to follow you stealthily with the radio on and the windows open.

Our relationship will struggle on even if you ask to borrow my favorite shirt and then throw it away or claim that I am in prison rather than bring me to parent/teacher night. I love you and I don't embarrass easily. I did the same thing to my dad.

Hugs and kisses in front of your friends,


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