Believe it!

dad and AT

The other day my youngest child said something that I can’t get out of my mind.

I was putting her to bed, we were having our normal nightly conversation:  reviewing the school day, the schedule for the week, homework, the usual.  And then, she sort of quietly said, “Sometimes I look at you, and I just can’t believe you’re my father.”

I said, “What do you mean by that?  Do you mean that in a good way?”

I was hopeful she meant, I just CAN’T BE-LIEVE you’re my father!  I’m the luckiest girl in the world!!

She said, “Not really.”

This is when things because a bit uncomfortable.

“Do you mean it in a bad way?” I asked.

Like, I can’t believe YOU’RE my father because there are so many better choices out there.

No.  I didn’t mean it in a bad way.

I pressed, “Well, then exactly what DID you mean?”

Oh, I don’t know.  It’s hard to explain.  She stammered a bit.

My mind was zipping around like Tinkerbell:

I can’t believe you’re my FATHER – you don’t have the maturity to handle this job. You’re only qualified to be my brother.

I can’t believe you’re MY father – we have so little in common.  I had to have been adopted.

She tried to pacify me.  “Dad, just don’t worry about it.  I didn’t mean anything by it.  It’s hard to explain.”

I eventually dropped it and put her to bed.

Yesterday I told DJ about our conversation.  Her response?  “Yeah.  I sort of feel the same way.”

Building Character, One Ugly Car at at Time

Subaru

Thankfully, but not surprisingly, DJ has been accepted into several institutes of higher learning.  She is waiting on two more replies and waiting on financial assistance packages.  Her wise father has communicated that he will NOT pay $60,000 for a private school when she could get an equally good education for $20,000.

We’re taking bets.  These are her current options:

UNC, NC State (Go Pack!), Furman, University of South Carolina, and Elon.  Still haven’t heard back from American and George Washington.

I will have to say DJ is a fairly strong writer, but even with her talents, writing ions of essays was a struggle.  I was the proofer, for grammar and spelling.  I didn’t write the dang things and yet I thought if she sent me one more to wade through i was gonna bust a nugget.

Thought I’d share my favorite:

I have a twin. Well, not like a biological twin. This twin does not look like me. This twin does not have the exact same birthday as me either. We were both born, or created, in 1997.  That’s as far as the physical resemblance goes. I have a 1997 green Subaru station wagon. It is the ugliest thing I have ever seen, and yet it has become a part of me and my high school career. My Subaru defines me, sort of.

 The car has been in my family for many years. My grandmother bought it brand new and drove it for many of her middle aged years. It was then passed on to my aunt who drove it from Boston, MA, to Raleigh, NC, on a regular basis. Then, it was my turn. I begged my dad to trade in the car for another one. I offered to help pay for a newer vehicle with the babysitting money I’d been saving since 6th grade.  He refused promising it would “build character.” At first I was beyond embarrassed to be seen anywhere in the trash can on wheels.  But the more I drove it, the more I realized that with the right attitude this car could be the coolest in the St. Mary’s School parking lot. I began to joke around calling the car my “baby,” or my “twin,” or the “soobs.” My friends soon caught on, and in short time I had taken a disaster and created a masterpiece.

 On the first day of eleventh grade, I drove to school and parked next to all of the shiny convertibles, jeeps, and SUVs. Instead of feeling like I messed up the status quo, I thought, “their cars don’t stand a chance.” Everyone that passed by marveled at the “soob,” as if it had been transformed into a corvette.  But it wasn’t the car that had been transformed, it was my attitude.

When I acted like the Subaru was a gem, so did everyone else. It became the car my friends and I drove to our late night runs to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, even when there were other wheels available with better speakers, seat warmers, and sunroofs. Rarely do I admit that my father is right, but having that car did build character. It also built friendships, inside jokes, memories, and of course some great Instagram pictures as we posed goofily on its roof.

 I have learned so much about myself from that little car.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Although she has already started complaining, in just a year or two, it will be my turn to pass down the good ole’ Subaru to my little sister.  I predict she will learn just as much from my baby as I did.   She’ll learn that material items aren’t everything and that your cool comes from within.

 You grow up in many ways.  In my family, one rite of passage is driving my grandmother’s old car.  My aunt got through it as have I. I hope that my two younger sisters get as much enjoyment and grow as much from the experience of driving the “soob” as I have.

 

I love some Michael Coors

michael-kors-michael-peep-toe-platform-sandals-leighton-high-heels-462906

It’s that time of year again.  Time to find the costume for the Winter Formal.  It’s in two weeks.  Both DJ and Stephanie have dates, which is no easy feat at an all girls’ school.  Appropriate clothing may be a more difficult challenge this year.

I took Stephanie to six dress stores last weekend.  If it had arm and neck holes, we tried it on.  Salesclerks give me the oddest stares.  I know they wonder why this dude is the sole adult with teenaged girls in their boutique.  I want to wear a sign across my chest:  Wife died, shut your pie hole.  Instead I try to act like I know what I’m doing, like Clinton from What Not To Wear:

“Texture…nice.”

“Shuuuut-Up!”

“Fit IS everything.”

“A line, much better than the B line.”

After a frustrating Saturday, I sent DJ on the prowl.  Within 30 minutes of their departure, I got a text with a pic of THE dress.  I thought Stephanie had it on backwards because the zipper was in the front.  Why would you need a zipper in the front?  It’s not a jacket.  You ain’t gonna need to get it off in a hurry!

Whatever…

This weekend we tackled shoes.  I took her to a store I thought was called DWI – but it’s actually DSW.  There were so many shoes there it upset my stomach.  I was overwhelmed.  I felt dizzy.  I didn’t know where to start.

I felt like a bird; I headed for sparkly shoes.  That’s what she used to like.

“Dad.  I haven’t worn sparkling shoes since I dressed up like Snow White, Halloween of 2004.”

Although she told me, I kept being drawn to shoes with jewels on them.

“Dad – DO NOT PICK OUT ONE MORE SHINY SHOE!  I AM NOT WEARING SEQUINS TO THE DANCE, especially on my feet!”

I pulled boxes off the shelf,she tried them on.  I then took pictures and sent them to DJ.

She responded to my first text:  “Put them back now!  They actually made me throw up a little bit.”

They weren’t that bad.

We finally settled on two pair, both returnable, both by Michael Coors.  I liked that cause he makes beer too.

When we got them home, I was told one pair looked like a 50-year-old lady and the other like a Hay Street prostitute.

“Well she must be good because these puppies were expensive.”

The crazy thing is that when DJ returned from her first dance at St. Mary’s School, I asked her if her feet hurt.  Her response?  “Oh no.  We took them off the minute we walked in the door.”

I’m gonna send her behind in bedroom slippers.  Shiny bedroom slippers.

Resistant to Change

iphone

I have become resistant to change. I may find this scarier than change itself.

I remember my grandparents getting stuck in their ways. One granddad refused to wear pants with pleats. You could not find a nonpleated pair in town so he had his suits hand tailored.

I’m the opposite. I love my pleats! They’re roomy and comfortable. I can fit my phone, a kid’s phone, wallet, business cards, keys and my glasses in orifices around the circumference of my hips and still have room to spare. Nonpleats are in and yet, I hate ‘em.

My other granddad didn’t want to watch anything on TV but Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy reruns. My grandmother would enter the room and yell, “Spurgeon! Turn the channel. The kids don’t want to see that junk!”

“Oh Ivy, they love it!”

It wasn’t that bad, but I wouldn’t say we loved it. I too find a Seinfeld episode much more invigorating than Dog with a Blog, my youngest kid’s favorite.

But it wasn’t TV last week that let me know I was stuck. It was my recurring fear of technological updates.

I received an email from Bart, he takes care of all mobile phones at the Y. His message was upbeat: New iPhones have arrived! Come by my office to pick yours up!

As others jumped from their desks to rush his office, I reached for my trashcan. A wave of nausea came over me.

There are people who spend nights in tents for the glory of owning a new technological apparatus. For me, this announcement means weeks, perhaps even months, of strife: new tool bars, Candy Crush and Taylor Swift mysteriously missing, my Outlook calendar organized in list fashion versus boxed calendar day. It was almost more than I could take.

I don’t want a new phone. I just want my old one to hold a charge for more than three hours.

At 4 PM I meandered to Barts’s side of the building. I paced in front of the IT department’s door. A fellow employee popped out from the office kitchen.

“Danny, you need something?”

“Ahhh…”

“It’s the phone isn’t it?”

My brow furrowed, I confessed: “I’m frightened. You know what happened the last time we had an upgrade.”

“You’ve got to let that go. We were able to recover most of the data on the server.”

He put his arm around my shoulder and guided me inside.

Bart was on his way out but slowly walked through the steps to back up my old information in the clouds. Apparently I was not utilizing this atmospheric support.

I took my old dandy back to my desk and plugged it into my computer. I clicked on iTunes and began the process of updating my 5S. I’d never done that before. At some point it asked me to enter a password. I punched in four numbers that were meaningful to me. I thought I was perhaps unlocking something that had been set up before.

When I was finished, I unplugged my 5 ready to access it for the last time. What I realized was that I had actually locked myself out.

I panicked. Oh Lord, please help me.

I was flustered. I went to YouTube and clicked on a video entitled Removing a Password from your iPhone 5.

I clicked play and began to follow the instructions of the hipster who was narrating the show.

“Plug your iPhone up to your computer.”

“Press the power button at the top of your phone while also pressing the control button at the bottom of your phone.”

I listened intently doing exactly as he instructed.

My phone was responding just as the one on the screen.

About half way through his demo, he said, “This will fully clear all contents from your phone, and you’ll be ready to start from scratch.”

Say what, say what? From scratch? I don’t want to start from scratch. I’m not even in the clouds yet!

And like that, all of my contents – my songs and my photos, my apps and my Outlook, the history of text messages, and all my saved messages were gone – for good. I felt like I’d been sucker punched.

Sometimes you get to an age that Andy Griffith is OK. I like pleats. Seinfeld is funny. And a working phone, with all of your stuff, is sometimes more appealing than a new one.

 

Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

Biff’s Biceps

university_banner

I applied to one college.

I did not visit multiple institutions.  I took the SAT once.  We didn’t even have the ACT that I can recall or any other test that required a number 2 pencil and an interruption of much needed Saturday morning teenager’s sleep.

Maybe I wrote an essay.  If I did, it wasn’t a big deal.  It was one.  Perhaps my dad proofed it.  But that was about all.

These days I truly think it would be less work to be confirmed to the Supreme Court than to get into an institution of higher learning.

Over the years, many dandy tools have been created to help you figure out which college might be a good fit.  You can go to a web site and look at a scattergram showing you little colored dots on a graph that tell you the average high school GPA of those who applied to get into each college.  The green dots got in, the red ones did not and the blue ones got in but went somewhere else.

It was one of these web sites that unveiled that the average GPA for the University of North Carolina is 4.58.

So to be clear, you can have straight A’s, a 4.0 average, and you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT get into one of our state’s largest institutions of higher learning.  Unless, of course, you play football.

I have encouraged DJ to join the city league.  Certainly she could be a kicker.  She says that’s ridiculous, that shoulder pads are out.

My standards are not that high for DJ’s college choice.  There are two criteria:  She has to get accepted and I have to be able to pay for it.

Thus far in our quest for the right secondary educational fit,we have:

Taken the SAT twice

Taken one prep course for the SAT

Taken the ACT twice

Visited 11 institutions

Completed the common app (which most colleges don’t take)

Had 17 arguments

And she has written six essays which I have proofed.  There are many more to go.

Why is there a common application if more than half of the schools she is applying to refuse to accept it?

At NC State, which does not accept the common app, you have to enter your top ten extracurricular activities and explain them in 25 characters or less.  For UNC, you have up to 150 characters to share the same exact information.  Errrr.

Although DJ has done the lions share of the work, at times we will sit together, two computers open, trying to enter info onto one application by interpolating info from another application.  Working to add or pair down the 62 characters to 22 characters because some bozo decided not to use the common app.

At times we get a little punchy, and I’ll start answering questions like this:

Question:  Discuss any obstacle and/or hardships you have encountered and how you dealt with them.

Our Answer:  I was a breech baby.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  My toes were above my ears and the umbilical cord was wrapped around my chest.  I tried to turn but I simply could not.  I could hear the doctor going nuts!  I pressed on the lining of my mother’s uterus and bravely shimmied down the birth canal.  It was the most difficult day of my life.

There are some schools that really want DJ to attend.  I am not familiar with Mercer, but I feel like we have a special relationship.  They email me daily.  Right now they are, one by one, sending me the top 15 reasons to attend their school.  We’re on number 6.  I can’t wait to see what 5 will be.

I do fear that DJ might decide to go to a school for the wrong reasons.  A few weeks ago we toured the University of South Carolina.  When we got back into the car after walking around the campus for an hour and half I asked, “What did you like the most?”

She said, “The tour guide was HOT!”

All of this work, and she may make her choice based on Biff’s biceps.  Heck, the local community college has hot guys.  Think we’ll go there next week.

 

 

Happy Bday Little One

It’s Michelle’s 12th birthday, and she wanted to blow it out.  I’m guessing there aren’t that many 15 girl sleepovers left in me – but, as long as they’re willing to come to my house, I’ll have ‘em!

The girls and I got home around 5:10 on Friday.  The crew started showing up at 5:30.

Michelle was having 9 friends over.  Of course, that meant that Stephanie needed a couple as well which is fine with me.  The older ones sort of disappear for the most part and occasionally step in to help entertain the youngers.  I just check on them to make sure they haven’t smuggled in boys or started a fire.

At 5:50 Michelle ran out on the front porch.  I was under the carport with Stephanie trying diligently to hook my laptop up to a borrowed projector so that we could watch Netflix on the side of the house.  You know, bigger is better.

“Dad, can we open presents now?”

“Noooo.   You still have two friends who haven’t arrived!  We’re gonna do that later tonight.”

“But we’re bored.”

“Bored?  Bored?  Good lord child, they’ve only been here 20 minutes!”  This was clearly going to be the longest night of my life.

“What should we do?”

“Pretend.”

She looked at me as if she had never heard the word.

“Do you know what we did for my 12th birthday?” She braced herself for the “Walk Two Miles to School in the Snow” story, birthday style.

“Your grandparents blindfolded us, spun us in a circle and had us stick a tack into the sketch of a donkey which was hung on our paneled basement wall.  And you know what?”

“What?”

“We were thankful we had a basement with paneling that was soft enough a tack could penetrate it!”

“You’re the weirdest person I know.”  She ran inside with her iPhone in hand.

I’m a cheap sort of birthday dad.  I did spring for pizza – but not the restaurant kind.  I bought small circular crusts and let the kids make their own.  They at least acted like it was fun.

DSC_0860

We then headed out to the carport.  That’s when DJ drove up.

My oldest daughter looked at me.  “Dad.  You look tired.  Let’s project some music videos on the wall.  We’ll have a dance party.  Take a break.  I got the next 15 minutes.”

A quarter of an hour.  She is so thoughtful.

DSC_0855

The movie was a hit until it started pouring down rain about ¾ of the way through.  We grabbed all of our stuff and headed toward the basement door.  As the girls ran in, a snake the size of an earthworm squirmed passed the door.

From the noise that came out of the mouths of these children, I thought one had run into a chainsaw in motion.

The snake is probably in Montana by now.  Their screams no doubt scared the hell out of him.  He was slithering as fast as a serpent can slither.  I feel certain he will NEVER return.

At 10:30 we ate cake – well, sort of.  I rolled out cookie dough and etched a little pic of the kid ($3.69).  I figured after pizza and popcorn some fancy store-bought sugarfest would not be necessary.

DSC_0880

Look, if you’re gonna dress your children in Jack Rogers’ sandals, you gotta save somewhere.

Around midnight DJ came home from her adventures with friends, and she helped me settle the crew down.  I went to my room and began to doze off when I heard the back door open and a booming voice echo through the den.

“Happy Birthday Michelle!!”

Hayes at bday

The laughter and screeches began again.  Uncle Jesse had arrived.  He pulled out the family guitar and began strumming as he held court with the nine preteens.

His work was complete at around 1 AM.  He did the job of an uncle.  Rile them up and get out-of-the-way.

No stiches, no tears, no vomiting or fist fights.  Asleep before 2.  I’d say that it was a pretty good night.

Chic-fil-AAAAAAA

ChickFilA-ChickenSandwich-e1395231520696

Last Tuesday evening, l ate THE fluffiest, tastiest, Chic-fil-A sandwich I’ve ever had in my life!  It was like thick and juicy.  It sort of melted in my mouth.

I always remove the pickles cause I don’t like their texture, but I LOVE that pickle flavor.  Mmmm.  It just intertwines with the bread casing adding just the right zing.

DJ and I were heading to Columbia, SC, for our second visit to USC.  I had a meeting in Garner, NC, at 6 PM, so we swung by the poultry pad right after as we headed out.

Chic-fil-A has been a part of every college tour we’ve been on thus far.  It’s become part of our relationship.

That same night, when we neared Lumberton, NC, amid Pedro’s South of the Border billboards, we spotted it again.  Another indication that there could be more.  I mean, it had been almost two hours since we last partook.

“Need to stop?  I sort of need to hit the potty.”

“Yeah.  Me too.”

We pulled in.  DJ got in line.

“I’ll be right back.  Order me the Oreo shake, no cherry.”

As I walked toward the restroom, I could hear the southern clerk who, by the way, is happy to serve us cause as I understand it, her time hand spinning our milkshakes is paying for her college tuition.

“Maaay I help ya?”

When I returned, DJ informed me that she’d ordered larges, “Just in case.”

“In case of what?”

“Just in case we wanted more than a small or medium.  You don’t have to eat it all.”

“Yeah right.”

The sales clerk returned to the counter with our humongous ice cream treats.

“Thank you” DJ and I echoed.

“Iss my plasure,” Missy Mae Bell drawled.

And it did genuinely seem like her plasure.  She was excited to help us.

A local in line behind us struck up a conversation.

“Oooo.  You got a long receipt!  You know what that means!”

“I paid too much?”

“Oh no!” the lady informed me.  “You get a free sandwich if you go on-line and fill out a survey.  I’m really lucky.  I get those all the time!”

I thanked her for informing me of my good fortune, and bi-golly she was right!  I should have given my prize to her.  I forgot to complete the survey, and she specifically told me that I had to within 48 hours or I would forfeit my prize.

I’d be the guy who won the $97,000,000 lottery and discover I had the ticket two days after they’d given the prize money back to the education fund.

I have a lot of respect for my favorite fast food chain.  When it’s not Sunday and I’m not hunkering for my warm bagged breast, I sort of admire that they observe the Sabbath.  Not many places do that anymore.  But I will admit, I get a little irked when I’m driving down I-95 on the second day of the weekend, and I notice the fine print under the big beak decorated C:  Closed on Sunday.

It’s a downer.

Yeah, D J and I are building memories at a restaurant that sells $5 chicken sandwiches. It’s sort of sweet, yet kinda weird.

Why You Got To Be So Rude?

There is a fairly new pop song that the radio stations play endlessly right now.  It’s called Rude, and it’s about a young man who goes to ask his girlfriend’s father for her hand in marriage.

It starts like this:

Saturday morning jumped out of bed
And put on my best suit
Got in my car and raced like a jet
All the way to you
Knocked on your door with heart in my hand
To ask you a question
‘Cause I know that you’re an old-fashioned man, yeah

Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
Say yes, say yes ’cause I need to know

In the music video, the father shakes his head and apparently says, “Nah, you ain’t marrying my daughter.”

You say I’ll never get your blessing ’til the day I die
Tough luck, my friend, but the answer is ‘No’

The young man then asks the dad, Why you got to be so rude?

Every time I hear that song, it takes me back to a similar conversation with Lisa’s father.  I’m not sure if it’s still an expectation in other parts of the country to ask a girl’s father for her hand in marriage, but in the south, it is.  At least in my circles.

So, I, being raised in a respectable family, knew what I had to do when I made the decision to take the plunge.  I called my father-in-law to be ,who I didn’t know very well, and asked him to go to lunch.  I admit I was a bit frightened.  It was a really awkward situation.  I was sitting there with a dude I didn’t really know, basically asking if I could defrock his daughter, spend Christmas with him, and go on his family vacations for the rest of his life.  All over a burger and fries.

I didn’t even know what to call this person.  He hadn’t told me I could marry his daughter yet so “dad” would have been presumptuous.  And, it seemed a bit formal to call my likely father-in-law Mr. Katsopolis – I’d likely see him in his underwear before the year was over.  But David or Dave was out of the question.  He was my elder, more than two decades my senior.

I don’t think I addressed him by name that day.  In fact, I don’t think I addressed him by name until there were grandchildren, at which time he became Pops, a comfortable name for all.

After small talk, he isn’t much of a small talker, and some awkward silence, I finally popped the question letting him know that I was planning to pop the question.

“Ahh, I think I’m gonna ask Lisa to marry me.  You OK with that?”  There was no going back now…

I was pretty sure he liked me but she was young, 23, and I was five years her senior.  I knew there was a possibility that he would beg me off for a while.  Surprisingly his response was rapid:

“Son, you don’t know what a burden you’re taking off of me.”

I gulped.  Were there things about my future wife that I didn’t yet know?  Did she have multiple personalities?  Financial baggage?  Perhaps an anger disorder?  Why was he so relieved?

As my mind raced working to figure out what I’d missed, Mr. Katsopolis gazed into nowhere, and as if his brain and mouth were one, his thoughts became audible:  “Her sister is going to be harder to place.”

If believe he picked up the check and bounced out of the restaurant as if he had just sold me a car without an engine.

I’m not sure how I’ll respond when some serious suitor comes to call for one of my girls, and I’ll have to admit I’ve wondered which of my daughters will be the most “difficult to place.”

Will I play hard to get with the fellas, or jump at the first offer?  DJ recently taped me singing my own version of Rude.  

I hope it doesn’t come to this!

20 Cans of Tuna

can of tuna

Sometimes it is difficult to be my child.

Last Sunday I was working hard to be ready for our afternoon activities and for the first day of school which was Monday.  We had two covered dish dinner events – one for the girls’ mother/daughter charity club and one at church.

Lisa and DJ began participating in the National Charity League five years ago.  There are meetings, socials, and service projects, and mandatory expectations for participation.  When Lisa died, Aunt Sallie stepped up and filled the mother piece of the duo.  When Stephanie aged in, she joined too.

The kickoff picnic required a salad for the covered dish meal and canned goods to be donated to a local nonprofit.

Because I had to bring an entree to the church picnic that followed the NCL dinner, I decided to knock out a slew of ham biscuits.  I made about 50.

That morning I ran by the grocery store to purchase supplies to create my sowbelly delights and at the same time purchased 20 cans of food.  I was thoughtful enough to purchase tuna because the cans were small, easier for my delicate daughters to tote from car to picnic shelter.  I was on my A game.

At 4, I shipped DJ and Stephanie off to NCL and shortly thereafter made my way to church.  They showed up at 6 for their second dinner of the day.

As soon as Stephanie got out of the car, she ran up to me.

“Dad!  Guess what?”

“What baby?”

“Well, we walked up to the NCL picnic and went to put our Food Lion bags full of canned goods on the table with everyone elses’ stuff.”

“Yeah?”

“Everyone else was standing there with Target bags full of shampoo and toothbrushes.  Do you know why?”

“Ahh…no.”

“Because we weren’t supposed to bring canned goods!  We were supposed to bring toiletries.  Do you know how embarrassing it is to show up with TUNA when everyone else has Colgate??”

“What did you do?”

“DJ said to just put the bags down quickly and walk away.  It was humiliating!”

“Well I would imagine that if someone needs toiletries, they likely also need canned goods.”

“At our next meeting we are taking all of the stuff we brought and putting it in bags for the people in need.  I guess the bags will include toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, Q-tips and TUNA!”

She sort of grunted and walked away.

The beautiful thing about DJ is that she didn’t even bring it up to me.  She’s used to this sort of stuff.  No need to get bent out of shape.  With me as her father, it just is what it is.

 

Check the Tanners out in the September issue of Family Circle
Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

If you have read the book and are willing to write a short review, it would be helpful:Click here. And thanks

 

 

They’re Home

Someone told me that time creeps when you’re looking forward and flies by when you’re looking back. I believe that to be true.

Two and a half months ago, DJ left to work at overnight camp for ten weeks. A month ago, Stephanie joined her for a four-week stent. I thought to myself, That’s a really long time. And now, it’s already over. They’re back.

I’m glad all three are under one roof although it won’t be for long. It’s DJ’s senior year so pop ins and outs will become the new norm. Major transitions are staring me down.

But while they’re all here, I’m going to savor the things I enjoy most about my girls:

1)  Borrowed clothing

Stephanie: “Where are my jeans dad?”

Me: “I’m really not sure. I have not worn them.”

Stephanie: “Did you see Michelle leave the house today?”

Me: “Yep. I took her to Lilly’s.”

Stephanie: “Was she wearing jeans?”

Me: “I believe she was.”

Stephanie: “Daaaad!!!” Message to the father: I can’t believe you let her leave the house in my clothes. What were you thinking??

2)  Eating Out

Me to the crew: “Where would you like to eat tonight?”

Stephanie: “Anything but Mexican.”

DJ: “I ONLY want Mexican.”  Seriously?  

Michelle: “It really doesn’t matter what I want. You always go where DJ suggests.” Message to the father: Why is she your favorite child?

3) Laundry

DJ: “I don’t have anything to wear! It’s ALL dirty.” Message to the father: Dad, do my laundry.

Me: “You’d better wash some clothes.”

DJ: “I can’t. I have to go to dance all morning, followed by a manicure.  I have tons of homework, and I’m going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show with Maggie tonight.” Message to the father:  I am busy. You are not. Why won’t you do my laundry?

Me: “Bless your heart.”

She puts a load in and leaves the house.

Michelle: “Dad, I’m trying to do laundry and DJ’s stuff is in the wash. What should I do?”  Message to the father:  Come finish DJ’s laundry. She is YOUR irresponsible child, and remember, she is also your favorite.

Me: “I don’t know. I guess you could switch them or you could wait for her to get home?”

4) Shoes

 By the back door

In my bedroom floor

In the bathroom (why do you take your shoes off in the bathroom?)

Under the couch, coffee table, book bag which is strewn in the middle of the kitchen floor

The office

Beside the printer which is on the desk – perhaps it was in hand on the way to tho put them up, nah

On the back porch

In the car – if you leave home in shoes and then leave them in the car, what is on your feet when you get out of the car?

Message to the father: You should pick up all of our stuff cause we don’t feel like it

5) But the best thing about my girls all being home is times like these:

 

Message to the father:  We do like our family

 

Check the Tanners out in the September issue of Family Circle
Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

If you have read the book and are willing to write a short review, it would be helpful: Click here. And thanks

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