Saturday, December 13, 2008

Katie Is 21 Today ... Her Dad Is In Denial

Getting a little comfort after a booboo.

So ... today, my first baby turns 21. The age I ALWAYS mentioned when she would make some request I was about to deny ...

Mostly she did do as I said, except where I was wrong. As a result she's turned out pretty amazing.
We (okay, her Mom) do get credit for her basic training in how to be a decent human being though.
Her training started immediately as I recall ...

Katie's nanny, Ranger the best dog ever, was a good teacher. Here she's having a lesson in manners and the importance of waiting until it's YOUR turn to chew the stacky rings.
That is a life lesson necessary for the success of any decent civilization.

Kate's nanny was also her first sibling and modeled all the best attributes of the role ... love, play, protection, comfort, drooling ...

We introduced her to fish and fishing early in her larval stages. This was especially easy to do at the time, as I was the resident law enforcement Ranger at Fort Matanzas National Monument and the ocean was 50 feet from our doorstep.

Her Mom taught her the importance of clean living ...and was successful even with me as one of the parental role models.

When the time came to be a big sister, Katie stepped up and assumed the role in spades. Of course, she knew how to be a good sibling, because Ranger had modeled that behavior for her.

We did have to retrain her a little when she would bark at Emma, but she was a quick learner.

The ancient parent lament, "The time went by too fast", is so true. I would not trade a single second of the time I've spent with Katie or her siblings.

(Did y'all's monitor go all blurry just then? 'Cause I'm having trouble seein' mine right now...)

I don't quite understand why she would spend 21 years training ME to be a Dad and then grow up all of a suddenlike.
It seems inefficient somehow.

I do have this ... If 50 is the new 40, and 40 is the new 30, then you know what that makes 31?

That's right Katie ...


Dani said...

Yes, very blurry on my end.

Happy Birthday Katie. I hope you have a beautiful day. :)

Anonymous said...

You stink, FC... My daughter just turned 7! Why you gotta do something like this to me on a Saturday morning? Yeah, I might need to get my monitor adjusted, too... :) Tell Katie happy b-day from all of us out here in cyber world, and keep strong!
Chris Fenton, Coonbottom, FL

threecollie said...

Nice post. Happy Birthday to her.
And that is so profound what you said about getting trained to be a parent and then becoming superfluous. I have been facing the same dilemma with our littlest baby turning 18....ouch....

Sayre said...

Everytime my son starts driving me crazy, I stop and remember that I'm already halfway through his growing up. It's a sobering thought as these last nine years have gone by in the blink of an eye. Scary to think that when I blink again, he'll be gone. THAT's why my monitor is blurry - I can't blink again.

Happy birthday, Katie! And hugs for you, Daddy. You did a good job from what I can hear.

Laura said...

21 is such a great age! Happy Birthday, Katie! And remember, whenever you're in doubt about something, just ask yourself: "What Would Ranger Do?" ;)


Aunty Belle said...

Felicitations Katie!! Whoo-hoo, darlin', ya done a splendid job on Daddy an' I see he is still smitten wif' ya'.

(A wee secret: Aunty is the eldest daughter too, an can promise ya that our Daddys doan never recover from fallin' fer us real real hard. Even when ya's a ole hen, youse gonna be Daddy's little thas' a great thang to be!)

Anonymous said...

Whar' is Coonbottom Floridy?

robin andrea said...

A very happy birthday to Katie! Such sweet remembrances of times past, and a father's loving hello to his 21 year old. Nice to see the pics of Katie and Ranger. They were quite the pair.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Katie...even Christopher "can't save you" from getting older! We love you guys, you done good! (Nice to see Ranger again too, FC)

TROLL said...

Was her first word "flounder"?

Sharon said...


Happy birthday to her, I only know her from her, but from what I know of her (from here) and her parents (from here) I have no doubt that she is as beautiful inside as she is out. :)

kathy a. said...

happy birthday, katie!

great photos, as always.

Cathy S. said...

Happy Birthday to Katie! So, what will it be today? A beer, a tattoo? A Chippindale's show? HaHa! We got your dad going now. No more tears for him, he's looking for your car keys and putting a block on your bank account. Have a wonderful day. You, too, dad and mom. You done good.

Sayre said...

Coonbottom, Florida - North of Tallahassee, East of Havana. Believe it or not, my husband used to live there.

rick said...

Happy Birthday to Katie. Twenty one years. (WOW) Its been neat watching your family grow and learn. As a cuz its been neat to see them grow into adults some in person but much of it on your blog. Katie has turned into a beautiful young woman an we are proud of her.

Deb said...

Happy birthday Katie! And thanks FC, for sharing those wonderful photo memories.

Nine and a half years away for me...

Sandcastle Momma said...

Happy Birthday Katie! Give your mom and dad a hug because it looks like they did an excellent job!

Ericka said...

yup, a bit blurry.

happy birthday, katie!

and hugs to her old man too. :-)

swamp4me said...

Happy birthday, Katie. Be extra nice to your's hard on us old folks when our babies become 100% bona fide adults ;) He'll survive but he may require a little extra attention. security word was "phatical." For some reason I find that funny.

Anonymous said...

happy birthday katie ;} such a bitter sweet moment. as i type this throught blurie vision.i rember both of my young ones 21st ouch and it dosent get any better. but it's all good.he has definitely blessed you and yours S T E B

Miz S said...

Aw, happy birthday to your grown-up little girl. And aren't you the proud and handsome daddy.

You and Mrs. FC must be awful proud of Katie. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

Floridacracker said...

A seemingly long way for you, but I can tell your family is soaking up every precious second, so you will have no regrets.

Thanks so much and I have to say that your town name is most excellent.

And his doppleganger will turn that next Sept. Arrggghhh!

No,don't blink. It goes so fast.
Enjoy this time, 'cause ...well you know.

Thank you for that saying ... you can't imagine how much that dog meant to me (well, yes, I think you can actually). I love that phrase!

You are an incredibly smart woman. Probably pretty too. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head dear.

Answered below. Ya sound like Sophie.

Thank you. Yes, they were a pair. Such a fine, fine soul that Ranger.
I look at Bear sometimes and see him.

Ack, they grow too damn fast! Everybody older tells you this when the new baby arrives, but you can't believe it at the time.
True tho.

It may have been "barely legal Dad" ... I don't remember.

Oops, sorry, but you probably didn't need it anyway.
Thank you for the kind words.

Kathy A,
Thank you!

Cathy S,
It's the tattoo that bugs me the most.
I am okay, just in shock.

How do they do this? I guess we did it to our folks too.

Don't blink. Just from our blogging friendship, I've seen big changes in your kids since we "met". You guys are doing it right tho, won't be any regrets there either.

She made it easy for us, but we'll take some of the credit. Thank you!

Thanks ... old man!?

I may need an IV of beer just to get over the hump.
"Phatical" is funny ... we need a definition for that most excellent word.

Thanks. They remain our babies, no?

Floridacracker said...

Miz S,
Thank you.
How did we get here so fast?
... and where did that dark hair go?
It's all a mystery to me.

Woodduck said...

Yes, my screen got blurry. Sitting here alone, turning sixty next week.
But I got a surprise this morning and my older daughter(27) gave me a surprise visit and I spent last week with the younger(22)daughter on the Outer Banks.
Where did the time go?
Enjoy your days and kids...happy trails and puppy dog tails.....

Floridacracker said...

How fine is that? Glad you got to see them both!

And happy early birthday !

Doug Taron said...

Happy birthday to Katie! I enjoyed the warm and touching post.

>Her Mom taught her the importance of clean living

Yeah, but it looks like her Dad giving her the bath there. Either that or Mrs. FC has really hairy arms.

jojo said...

aww your such a sweet dad... but i'd kill ya if you changed the law of the land from 21 to 31. luckily in my house it was still 18. :)

Happy Birthday! you have a great dad!

Rurality said...


Hey, I think 50 is the new 30 now!

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

A day late but Happy Birthday to Katie!

Great post.


Floridacracker said...

Yeah, that's me. She taught me too!

Just wistful thinking...

Feels like it to me!

Never too late! Thank you!