People who read my column often ask me if I have to get permission before I write things. The answer is yes, I have to get permission from my boss — not my boss here at work, but my boss at home. You’d think that would be my wife, but lately my boss has been our 17-year-old daughter.
My wife is great about what I write and getting permission has never been an issue. When I first started writing the column, I did seek permission from my mother-in-law anytime I wrote about her. After a while, she was cool about it, and truth be told she never minded. I was just trying to be politically correct in my married life — a survival instinct.
I was cautious what I wrote about our son once he hit high school, as I never want to embarrass our kids, for all their friends and teachers seem to read MidWeek. I am 100 times more cautious for my daughter, for if I create drama in her life, life for my wife and me becomes unbearable. I’m taking a chance this week by writing this and not checking with my current boss. For the past two months, our daughter has been sending handwritten letters to her boyfriend and he back to her. She writes to him practically every day, and she does not want us to check the mail because she wants the surprise of receiving a letter from him. In this day and age of texts and emails, I find this quite remarkable — and, frankly, quite romantic.
The only problem is that I’ve been pulled into the process as a provider of envelopes and stamps. No problem there, but I also have the responsibility of mailing out her letters daily. To ensure they get out, I bring them to work and have them mailed out from my office. This is very important to her, and I couldn’t imagine what would happen if I forgot to mail it. The other day I did just that: forgot to mail it, that is. My daughter was pretty upset about it, and you’d think I forgot something significant like her birthday. It was that important. She was giving me a lot of grief, when finally I had to put a stop to it. I told her, “Listen, young lady, knock it off or I’m going to take away your pen and stationery!”
Wow, I don’t think a parent has said that to a child since the days of Abraham Lincoln.