It’s the least a new-age sensitive kinda father can do.
Today, Feb. 9, is daughter Sam’s birthday and I figure she deserves a few words of bubbly optimistic encouragement as she takes another step down the road of biological inevitability that leads to wisdom, maturity, lumbago and, probably in the case of her generation, a pitiful government pension when she retires at age 89.
Talking about age, I won’t reveal how old Sam is today except to offer the really obscure clue that, if she were around in the 60s, nobody would trust her (ask your parents).
At any rate, there’s nothing wrong with growing older except for memory loss and a whole bunch of other things I forget.
This will not be a problem for Sam’s generation because they don’t have any really big events to remember like us Boomers saddled with an obligation to recall where we were when JFK was shot, men landed on the moon and the Leafs won the Stanley Cup.
Mind you, Sam spent her formative years growing up in the 80s, an entire decade where nothing happened. Except disco, also best forgotten.
Her generation also doesn’t worry about losing their memory because Facebook has kept it all and will willingly give it back if sued.
Fortunately, new-age sensitive kinda fathers have a special part of their brain that files stuff forever about their kids right beside the tumor that has always caused us to do things that constantly embarrass them when they are growing up.
Sam came into this world in a difficult delivery that had worried doctors actually insert monitoring electrodes into her forehead while she was still in the womb. These later mutated and became earbuds.
She was a precocious child and learned how to read by the time she reached her first birthday. As a product of the Ontario Public School system, she is hoping to learn how to spell by the time she’s 40.
(Based on our road trip together through the Maritimes last summer, I figure she’ll finally be able to read a road map by the time she retires at 89.)
Sam always did well in school and I choose to think that was because we paid her $10 a week to not watch TV during the school year. This had an unforeseen impact because she developed a deadly pallor after spending entire summers sitting inside catching up on current events and developing her life-long political views by watching endless re-runs of the Simpsons.
That $10 weekly income obviously activated a major entrepreneurial gene, because she started working as a babysitter, just days after being last babysat, and later started promoting tooth decay working as a purveyor of a local and suspect confectionary called Beavertails. This was a happy time for us parents because her bedroom always smelled of deep-fried sugar rather than the odours that normally accompany the piles of festering laundry forming the main decorative feature of a teenager’s domain.
She graduated to landscaping during the summers and it is always a tender moment for a father when his little girl comes home with her first dainty pair of Cougar steel-toed work boots.
Not to mention the great pride (and just a little envy) as she took my long experience drinking beer and applied it to a profitable enterprise paying her way through university by slinging brew and eventually managing pubs at home and overseas.
It was not a totally selfless investment using my paternal skills to teach her life’s fundamentals—how to ride a bike, drive a car, drink and smoke without guilt and, mainly, how to pad an expense account.
That has all led her to a successful career bringing us to where we are now as she marks another milestone, helping her Golden Age parents with traditional tasks we are no longer able to perform ourselves—programming the DVD player, resetting the clock on the microwave, backing up computer files, creating Twitter accounts and managing our web site.
It goes with saying that, without this assistance, we would probably be prematurely in a nursing home, forced to suffer the indignities of basic cable and dial-up internet.
So, here’s to Sam.
Happy birthday from your clueless parents. We would have baked you a cake, but can’t figure out how to program the timer on the new convection oven ….