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!






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9 Responses to “12 years and counting”

  1. Happy Birthday Danielle! Thanks for being the inspiration for this blog!

  2. Happy Birthday Danielle, I only wish you could slow it down a bit because this means that NV is on his way to being a preteen with you!! I’m not ready, I’m not ready!!!! I’m happy that you are such a good role model for all your younger cousins. I hope you still want to frequent AG cafe with me until you are at least 25, 26. I know you will have a wonderful day, I hope it is filled with surprises! Let’s plan on a day that you, me, Kristen, Bella and Zoe can all go out!

    Lots of Love,

    Auntie Angelique

  3. BTW, good job Tony and Beth on raising such wonderful children!!!

    Love you,


  4. cute column tony. happy b-day danielle!

  5. Kevin"Mel"Thoman February 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Wow…..2 February B-days for the Dodero family!!!
    Awesome job all the way around!!!
    Have a great day Danielle…..I already know you have a great family!!!

  6. Happy Birthday to Danielle and thanks to Tony (and Beth) for another great column. Children are indeed a gift . . . ok, ok, I’m scooting off to tell my own 12 year old that very thing right now!

  7. Happy Birthday Danielle Elizabeth Ann Marie!! You have so many things in common with Marissa. She of course as you know was the older sister of a younger sister and baby brother, went through the same birth traumma you did and was ultimately born C-section as well due to a prolapsed cord. She also cost a lot of $ with braces (just as you, well worth spending $ on), she loves to read and write. Her game was Softball and she also danced. Hope you have a fantastic day and look forward to seeing your future accomplishments! Your brothers “Best Friend” & your neighbor Jeff (& Maril & Andrew). P.S. Marissa last name is Lianne. A mixtue of some of yours.

  8. P.S. Great job as always Tony!

  9. Hi dada!! That was really nice of you to write. Thank you all of you! You guys definately (I think that’s spelled right) made my birthday much better!!

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