12 years and counting
Twelve years ago today, God bestowed a great blessing on me and Beth when Danielle Elizabeth Ann Marie Dodero was born. Her three middle names, by the way, are an attempt to name her after her mother, her grandmothers and her aunts. Three middle names or not, I instantly fell in love with her and for 12 years Danielle has alternately made me proud and, um, exasperated. The pride and exasperation started on the day she was born, which was the longest of my life. Early that morning, doctors attempted to induce Beth into labor and we went 10 hours through the day and nothing happened. The doctors ordered an emergency C-section and by 8 p.m. my little girl joined the family. Turned out, she had wrapped the umbilical cord around her shoulder and couldn’t descend into the birth canal.
Knowing Danielle today, I now think that was just the first of her many pranks. But really she’s a great kid, despite the thousands of dollars in orthodontics she has cost us. She gets good grades and is talented at about everything she does. She’s a pretty quick and skilled soccer player who goes by the nickname, Dash. And if she wasn’t playing soccer all the time, she’d be dancing ballet, which just seems to be deeply embedded in her soul. I am constantly amazed at how graceful she is as she glides and spins across our hard wood floors. She also loves to read and write and tell stories, something near and dear to me of course.
It was Danielle’s inquisitive nature and mind boggling questions that inspired this blog. In fact, I originally planned a book by the title, “Answering Danielle’s Questions.” But then I had two more kids who asked equally probing questions and Beth came up with a better name. Go Ask Your Dad. Which is one of Beth’s favorite lines anyway.
So off we go. Two more years until high school and four more years until driving, a dad recently reminded me. Danielle’s last year as a pre-teen and last year at Hermosa Drive. But it’s all good. And no matter how many paces she puts me through, no matter how much I have to be grumpy old dad and say “no,” I still am head over heels in love with Danielle and her sister and brother.
Happy Birthday Pumpkin!