Ten simple rules for dating my teenage daughter

And at twelve years old, pretty much my whole life was in the future.

* * * In preparation for my father’s funeral, I asked my mother to take me to buy some black clothing.

Those two happy days had healed the wound of my parents’ split just enough for this departure to rip it back open.

I had no idea that this would be the last time I’d ever see him, but something in me must have had an inkling, because I cried like I knew it was our last goodbye.

I wasn’t crying because he wasn’t there right then.

When the communal, outward mourning ends and life appears to go back to normal, that’s the worst part — when the world goes on, not noticing the gaping hole that’s been left.

It’s how we put together a new role for ourselves in this irrevocably damaged world that shows how we really grieve — much more than those first few days of sobbing.

He encouraged me to not let adolescence shrink me: “stand up and be proud,” he wrote, warning that young girls — “do you prefer young women?

” he asked in parenthesis — sometimes hide their intelligence to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

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