Here’s to making 20, something (or, happy birthday, Madison)

stormtrooper madison (2)I had to wait a day to get my favorite birthday present. That was 20 years ago.

Camdyn’s two goals Saturday come in a close second. What kid can score on her dad’s birthday? It’s just Camdyn doing Camdyn things. Hayden’s done it, too. It’s kind of Babe Ruthian to go out and deliver on a day and on a dime.

Sunday, Madison turned 20.

She nearly shared my birthday, did you know that? If her mama’s contractions hadn’t stopped around the time M*A*S*H* comes on TV, this would be a different post. That was 20 years ago now. The girls are rolling through all the milestones, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20 …

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What month we’d phase out, in 6 words

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This month, we’re editing months.

GAD GRAPHICWhich makes no sense, if you could see my life right now. It entails zero time to do things I love – namely, converse with my blogging friends and eat enchiladas. I even had to alter my procedure for Six Words to get enough entries this month.

Normally, I invite people by email after I’ve visited their blog – or answer email sent to me asking for the prompt.

This month, I read fewer blogs than I could eat enchiladas. So I sent out word by social media. The response was strong! Once a month, as you know, I ask strangers, friends, bloggers, and strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt in six words.

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Go ask daddy about mile-high babies, low-key animal speed and measuring blue language in one of your songs

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I used to be such a bullshitter.

GAD GRAPHICUsed to be! For this particular division of BS, I’d ask my sports-minded friends and sports-department cohorts, Hey, did you hear about the trade? The first couple of times, it works like a charm.

I make it sound convincing.

At newspapers, I make it all official, with a dateline and everything. Like, for instance:

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The wisdom of shark heads, quarterbacks and old-school Billy Joel

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It’s 12:17 a.m. and this day has gone so long it’s wrapping around into the next.

I have cobwebs on my blog or at least on my comments and if your blogs were my goldfish, you’d all be belly up in algae-riddled muck. I’m the blogging equivalent of the boyfriend who texts you at 2 a.m.

It’s 12:19 now and I should be doing a million other things.

Looking for a job, for instance. Not eating this quarter pounder on a plate, stage right. Boiling water for the sleepytime tea I’ve had every night. Answering comments or brushing my teeth or, maybe even sleeping before my 2.5-hour trip to Raleigh at 7 a.m.

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Go Ask Daddy about Floridian Rides, Martian Colonization and science stuff that has to do with eardrums

stormtrooper nascar jeff gordon (2)It’s time this girl got a name.

GAD GRAPHICHere, finally, is a photo of my new Hyundai. It’s strange, but Gabi still inhabits our street, an empty vessel full of fond memories and great escapes. The item put Pontiac on Craigslist has burned a hole in my to-do list.

My preliminary pick for the new car’s name: Yuliana.

(I know no Yulianas. Gabi got her name from my friend, Stacey. Gabi’s touch-and-go status in the auto shop necessitated a few prayers and vexes. Stacey felt if a car had a name, maybe she’d be more apt to capture the well wishes.)

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Go ask daddy about driving rules, alcohol in the kitchen and illegal football moves

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Inspecting the elephants at our Airbnb haunts in Fredericksburg.

I couldn’t wait to get my permit.

GAD GRAPHICI was just a dumb kid in Colorado with the delusion that acquiring my permit would automatically result in:

1) Getting a brand-new Pontiac Fiero;

2) Driving my butt from Greeley, Colo., to Seattle

3) Actually making it back home.

How could I forget? I was also going to pick up my cousin, Raquel, in San Francisco. All this, before I’d even learned to parallel park. But I was ready. Kids these days? They’re not so ready. Why be ready to drive, when you parental Uber toting you around?

I’m okay with this.

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I pray it won’t take me this long to pray again

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Just outside the Fredericksburg Cemetery.

Hayden and I talked fantasy football while I fixed her scrambled eggs Sunday morning.

I know, you’re not supposed to talk fantasy football. Maybe it’s okay with the people you play with? Anyway, Marcus Mariota, you see. He’s projected for mad points this week, but is questionable for the game Monday. Should I stick with him?

I prayed about it last night I told Hayden.

I actually hadn’t. On two other occasions, I’ve prayed for trivial things (that didn’t feel trivial in the moment) only to see them granted. I tried to remember the last time I did actually pray. It might have been in acid-washed jeans.

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Go ask daddy about human formulation, matrimonial dissention and the state of American soccer

stormtroopers plants (2)There’s a rock rolling around in my dashboard.

GAD GRAPHICI plan to do nothing about it. I log tons of miles in my new (yet unnamed) Hyundai Elantra. Some days, more than five hours worth. Phone chargers, makeup, snack wrappers and slides get left in my car every day.

One child picked up a rock recently.

I won’t say which one. It took me back to days when I had young children (and better hair.) Rocks and toilet-paper rolls with stickers and construction paper adorning it made for the best gifts a dad could get.

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On a day with my girls at the auto fair, it kind of felt like dad was there

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photo credit: DocChewbacca Back to the past via photopin (license)

All my dad needed was a glimpse of a tail light.

He could tell you the make, model and year, just from that. Just from a red glow, a glance of it. That’s when cars had cool names, like De Soto and Falcon and GTO. Not Prius and Altima and Cruze. Those aren’t even words, let alone cars.

Dad and I picked out a 1962 Buick Skylark for my first real car.

Maddie was white with red interior. Full-bodied, four-door, hardtop sedan. Sleek lines. We installed glass-pack mufflers with dual exhaust and low-profile tires with sweet chrome rims. She shined brighter than Grace Kelly, Debbie Boone and Brooke Shields.

Combined.

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How to teach your kids to take a compliment

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I keep a drawer of beat-up books that I like to open a lot.

One’s a book of coaches’ quotes. I gain perspective from my sideline squad. Another’s a book of lists for parents. I’ve scribbled in that a lot. Another is a pocket-sized, tattered book called “Father to Daughter.” It’s a collection of advice fathers have given.

Occasionally, I’ll grab one of the sentences in it and expound upon it.

My conversation with a T-mobile customer service rep that turned to fatherhood inspired this. I’d love to hear your take on the topic, from the perspective of a parent or having been that daughter with your father.

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