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Saturday, January 09, 2010


Lane 2 is probably one of the most likeable teenagers I’ve ever met. I’m not just saying that because she is my daughter. She has the best traits my old man and I have to offer in our goofy genetic pool. She is kind-hearted, smart, funny and never stays angry very long.

Every day after school, she volunteers at the teen center, tutoring younger kids. Some days she comes home and talks about how difficult it is to listen to a small, struggling, stuttering student read. In her head, she is imitating Adam Sandler in Billy Madison, “Ta-ta-ta-today junior!” But she keeps her game face on and positively encourages the child.

Here she is making the best of things, wandering around in the hospital as she waits for her grandma to get out of surgery.

During the summer of suck, she was a trouper. I know she missed her friends. I know it was hard spending all of that time away from home. I know it was scary as her G-Pa’s and G-Ma’s health was touch and go.

She figured out the timer feature on her camera and surfed on a hospital hallway ledge.

I know she was probably annoyed that I kept assigning mundane tasks to her. Like the day I made her climb on a ladder to clean an outdoor ceiling fan at her grandparent’s house. She had that look, the one that said, “Really, Ma?!” But she didn’t say a word… until her iPod fell into a cleaning bucket filled with water. Even though she bought it with her own hard-earned money, she just looked deflated, and sounded bummed but didn’t freak out like I or her father would have at her age. And I know spending two months-plus back and forth to hospitals really isn’t how a teenager wants to spend their summer especially with no tunes to listen to, but I didn’t hear a peep out of her.

The iPod couldn’t be repaired, so she started saving up for a new one. We pitched in a couple of bucks, which she really appreciated. Now, happy to have her music back, and before the kitchen exploded, I asked what she wanted for Christmas. All she could think of were funky socks. Really?! (I’d have been pretty annoyed if someone gave me socks.) When I was her age, I would have been pissed off if Santa blew me off. She just took that in stride too. Actually, both kids did. Even as a grownup, I was more upset about the plumber getting all of the Christmas goodness my paycheck had to offer than either of the kids were. (It’s okay, I know I have issues. Whatever!)

Last week, she showed another amazing display of awesomeness. Her iPod was stolen during a lock-in at the teen center. She had a pretty good idea who took it but had no proof. She was upset, don’t get me wrong, but she wasn’t boiling over…like I was…and it wasn’t even mine! It was one of very few events I didn’t chaperone, which pissed me off. I would have frisked every one of those little…darlings.

A couple of days ago, while tutoring, the kid she suspected came into the teen center. She kept her eye on him and noticed he was hiding something in his pocket. She could also tell he was looking at her when he thought she wasn’t paying any attention to him.

She and a friend walked up to the director of the center. And she said, “I’m pretty sure that boy is the one who took my iPod. And I think he has it with him in his pocket.”

When the director asked the boy what he was playing with in his pocket, he said it was his wallet. She said, “Let me see.” After stimmering and stammering, he said “It’s my iPod.” When she asked where he got it, he claimed his cousin gave it to him. She told Lane 2 to look at it to see if it was hers. Sifting through the songs, she knew it was hers, but the kid had deleted all of her photos, notes, and kept insisting it was his.

The director was pissed and called his parents. His dad came in first, and the boy named a different cousin than the one he'd mentioned before. Doubting his son’s story, but late for a meeting, he said, “We’ll talk about this later.” Then his mom came in. She was pissed. But not pissed at her thief of a son. She was mad at the director for making the accusation in front of the other kids. Dumbfounded, the director really didn’t know how to react or what to say.

Lane 2’s friend came up with a plan. Since she has the texting app, he decided to text her iPod while the adults argued. When the thief’s iPod went off, the screen showed “New text from Chinese Piper” which is Lane 2’s (personal, inside joke) nickname for her friend, that little brat still tried denying that it was hers.

Here she is with her friend who happens to look a little Chinese when he smiles. He's as goofy as she is.

Everyone finally knew it was Lane 2’s and she got it back. She lost all of her stuff on it because the kid put a lock on it, refusing to provide the code. It had to be reset, but she took that in stride too. Freakin’ amazing little girl.

Who knew you could learn so much from a teenager?

Me and the girl bringing in 2010.

Us waking up Mr. LaMe, who was sound asleep by 8.

My baby girl is getting her driving permit in a couple of weeks. This is the car she won't be driving. Hahaha! The day I took that picture, she was in a bad mood, which is a rarity, so I lied and said I needed to go get gas in the car. I came back with yummy goodness in a cup just for her, and her bad mood, much like the yummy goodness, disappeared at lightening speed.

I wanted to thank all of you for the well-wishes and prayers, phone calls and emails about Mr. Lane’s dad. One week short of six months…he was released from the hospital.

Here’s Mr. Lane and his daddy, celebrating the holidays at home.

He has a long road ahead of him, but is a true medical miracle. Physical therapists come to their house a few times a week, and hopefully they will soon have him completely out of the wheelchair…although it is super awesome with candy apple red fenders, hydraulics and has five gears! Seriously the freakin’ thing is supped-up like Dad’s ride has been pimped.

The update on the kitchen…well, there isn’t one. We are still waiting for the carpenter’s estimate to get approved by the insurance company. Until then, everything is in disarray and I’m going to try my best to be like that little girl of mine and just take it in stride.

The other lesson to be learned, when you wish for something, always be certain to throw in a clause, such as, “I wish I had a new kitchen…without anything in and or around me exploding in the process.”

P.S. It isn't Lane 2's birthday, Fifteen is just one of her favorite songs, and happens to be how old she is.