The Second Best Days of My Life

But now that my daughter is about to move on to seventh grade, I've loosened up at bit.  She spends her summers at sleep-away camp, and there isn't a curse word she hasn't heard or said herself.  At school this year, she learned about drugs and sex and staying safe.  I've allowed her to get an Instagram account, I let her watch Psych and NCIS and Dance Moms, she’s read The Hunger Games and Divergent and Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret.  We watch The Daily Show together and I explain to her why everything Jon Stewart says is so funny. 

I have to tell you, I thought that this would be a terrifying time - a pre-teen girl in the age of the Internet, oh my! - but funnily, it reminds me a little bit of those early days, when she would point at something and ask me, what’s that?  It’s like the world is being opened up to her again, and now that she’s mature enough to handle  what’s being revealed to her, she’s soaking it all in.  

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not quite as joyful as it was the first time - instead of chubby cheeks and four front teeth she’s got pimples and braces with bright purple rubberbands in them - but still, it’s pretty fun.  I’m amazed every day by the things she knows and understands, and by how insightful she is.  I’m stunned when she can grasp the intricacies of social issues, and when she laughs at things in all the right places.  

Plus, I’m starting to be able to share with her the things that I loved when I was her age.  I’ve been taking her through a John Hughes retrospective recently - The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller - and she can relate to them in the same way that I once did.  It’s not quite like the first time I took her to Disneyland, when she was three, but it’s pretty damn close.