“She’s how old? Bloody hell…” I was in a bar with W yesterday, catching up and chewing the fat – generally putting the worlds to rights.
“Yeah, 16. Can’t quite believe it.”
“16? Daaaaamn. Really? I remember you coming out and getting wasted with us when you first heard your missus was pregnant.”
“Hmm, sounds about right. But yeah, it’s her birthday, and we’re off to her mum’s for a barbecue tonight.”
“Yeah, that’s really good how that’s all come together, really pleased for you all.”
“Thanks, yeah, lucky I know.”
“I mean my little one’s just starting school and I’m like ‘how did that happen?’ but sixteen! Man…”
“She’s a formidable young lady; proud of her. She’s more focused on her GCSEs than partying right now, and considering the scrapes I’d been getting into by the time I was her age I’m damn pleased about that.”
“Hah… Yeah… It’s been what… nearly twenty years since we first met?” I’d love to say that the rest of the conversation was about my wonderful daughter who today is celebrating her sixteenth birthday, but we then wandered on through to all sorts of other things before we went our separate ways.
The Charleesi is universally acknowledged by all who know her as having inherited the best from both parents: beauty, brains, steely determination, creativity, empathy, and a tendency to roll her eyes at the gormlessness of people who should know better. The calm snark and quiet will to just get on with what she has decided to be the optimum course of action bely a gentleness of spirit that some mistake for docility, until they look into her steely eyes.
Proud father? Absolutely. Happy Birthday Charleesi, now let’s get the exams out the way and get ready to celebrate!