Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Happy birthday to my little girl from six states away

Melanie and her parents, 21 years ago today.

I've told you that my daughter Melanie, our youngest girl and second-youngest child overall, is spending six months in Orlando, Florida, as a Disney College Program participant. She operates rides at Disney's Blizzard Beach water park, sweats profusely in the Florida sun, and takes remote classes through Cleveland State University.

She is a very busy young woman.

She is also, as of today, 21 years old. Which I'm sure means she will take a sip of alcohol for the very first time in her life.

I choose to believe this is true.

Do you remember where you were or what you did on your 21st birthday? I was covering the Ohio high school state volleyball tournament in Dayton with my News-Herald co-worker Matt Kantz. I went through a drive-through beverage store to buy a six-pack of beer, mostly because I could.

The beer wasn't all that great, as I recall, but the fact that I could legally purchase it was very cool.

There are many things about adulthood that make you wish you were a kid again. But on balance, being a grown-up beats being a child, in my experience.

So here's hoping little Mel has the best of all possible 21st birthdays. If she does decide to have a beer today, I hope she doesn't also have to work a shift at the water park. Otherwise, her buzzed self may send an unsuspecting child down a water slide at the wrong time to his/her doom.

Happy birthday anyway, kid.

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