Friday night, we dropped Emily off at Alex’s house, chit-chatted a bit with his mom & dad, then said our good-byes. She’s off on her road-trip with her good friends Alex, Max and Leah. Our emotions run up and down like a rollercoaster. Annette could go from anger towards her teenager to crying over her baby in the space of a few seconds.
Saturday night we actually went out. Like, you know, out. We went to the Pageant on Delmar to see Butch Wax & the Hollywoods. Emily’s former French teacher’s long-time boyfriend is the trumpet player and he gave us a couple of tickets. Annette’s working as their real estate agent too.
Just going out as a couple was nice. After finding a couple of seats, we both had a glass of red wine and really enjoyed the show. It was the band’s 20th anniversary show so they had former members and special guests coming up throughout the night. Billy Peek came out at the end and played a few songs to remind everyone how a Rock N Roll guitar is supposed to sound. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone use a wah-wah pedal effectively. Billy Peek and the keyboardist from Butch Wax were good friends with Johnny Johnson and they all got together for a tribute. Billy did Johnny B Goode and dedicated it to Johnny Johnson.
Many emotions throughout the evening. There were folks there of all ages; lots of kids too. As I watched a guy carrying his little girl down to the dance floor, I spontaneously started to cry. I remember as if it were yesterday when my little girl would ask me to carry her from the car and up the steps to our apartment on Dover. I would tell her, “Em, as long as I can lift you, I’ll carry you up these steps.” Soon I was warning her that one day, I would no longer do that. How I’ll miss that little girl.
It’s seems I’ve been warning her throughout her life of the day when I wouldn’t be the one carrying her. I’ve looked at it like a job; I must prepare her for life. All I’ve really wanted was to make her better than me. I believe I’ve done that. Annette and I are mysteriously complimentary personalities with each shoring up the other’s weaknesses, and I think Emily will benefit from that too. There are some areas that we’re both weak in, and if you’d like to hear two grown-ups bellyache, you should hear us fretting over the terrible things we’ve done to our daughter.
Today, she turns 18. Out of state as she’s been so many times before. With her birthday in summer, it isn’t uncommon for her to spend it away from home. She’s quite well traveled thanks to her extended family. Lot’s of time in Colorado, once to Quebec, once to the east coast. Once to the Ozarks with her second family, the Porchs.
Just got off the phone with Emily; they made it safe to Woodland Park. I’m very happy she’s with Jennifer tonight. I know she feels very comfortable out there and if she can’t be with us tonight, on this very special night, I’m very glad she’s with friends that she loves and family that love her dearly.
For the record, Em, your mother and father love you very much and nothing could ever lessen that love. Happy Birthday big girl!