Wednesday, July 13, 2022


 Dear John,

You would be so proud of your girl today.  She is attending something she calls "manager camp" because her boss decided to promote her to assistant manager already.  I'm glad you got to see her start her first job.  She is so much like you when it comes to working.  She loves getting paid and watching her bank balance grow.  She's so reliable and hard-working that after 3 months, her boss decided to let her, a 15 year old with no previous work experience, be responsible for helping run 2 different venues.  

Of course, you would not have let her work as much as I have.  You would have complained about driving back and forth.  You would have bemoaned the price of gas.  You would have said she needed more down time, though she doesn't really have anything else to do.  You would have been really irritated by the fact that she often gets out so much earlier than she's scheduled.  But you would still have been impressed with her work ethic and enjoyment of being employed.

She has made a few frivolous purchases so far - she got her iPhone.  That one is kind of funny, since she got a job to buy her own phone and pay for her own plan so you couldn't take her phone away from her again.  Too bad she didn't realize her plan would never have worked.  The thing is...she's not on it as much as you assumed she would be.  But she also succumbed to peer pressure and then found that her peers still criticized her for getting a phone that was too fancy.   She also paid ridiculous amounts of money for a pair of shoes.  

I wish you understood how your anxiety fed her anxiety, and that's why she rejected your offer to drive her to work that Saturday.  She didn't know where to go, and when you expected people to know something and they didn't, you would get upset.  She knew that, and didn't want you to be upset or have to manage that when she was already nervous.  It wasn't a rejection of you, just of your reactions to things.

We miss you every day.  She's in therapy to talk about you, but she's also there complaining about her friends and classmates.  There's a boy who seems to be trying to date her, but she's very suspicious of his motives.  You'd be proud of that, too.




  1. The things we do when we think we have all the time in the world that come back to haunt us. For me it was talking my dad out of having a steak before going to the hospital. It would have been his last, he would have so enjoyed it, I knew it was bad, but still chose to cling to the hope that he would get better, and yeah.
    Your daughter will choose to do things in her life based on her instinct coated with this extra layer of “what would have dad said about this”. It is a stuffy layer, hope the therapy helps her keep her instinct intact.
    It must be so hard for you two. It must have been difficult before as well, but now, oh, dear.
    I would love to hear about the first time you smiled after his death. I hope it had something to do with him. Both you and him deserve that moment.

    1. I still can't really smile about him - not sincerely or whole-heartedly.

  2. I'm getting a bit misty thinking of teens and parents navigating each other.