I’m tearing down the highway, heading home after playing long-distance chaperon and chauffeur to my 15-year-old daughter’s birthday night out. The car is empty except for me. I’m listening to Led Zeppelin’s first album on CD. The volume is at 11.
OK. Time to rewind.
- First of all, I am freaking out just a tiny bit about the 15-year-old thing. All I have to do is think about what the hell I was doing at 15 and let’s just say most of it
was illegalis not publishable. Fifteen was a watershed year for me in many ways. What I did then affected much of the next decade of my life. So I think of all that when I think of my Girl from the West. If she isn’t doing any of the stuff I was doing, then she will be OK.
- Second, playing long-distance chaperon means picking up and driving six girls (in my three-seats-available car) to and from a nice little restaurant for dinner, going to nearby coffee house to while away time until I get the call to put on my chauffeur hat again. I did this a few times until my duties were done for the evening.
As I drive home, my thoughts drift as I listen to Robert Plant’s voice wail over Jimmy Page’s guitar. I think: This was part of the soundtrack of my 15th year. I’m flooded with memories. It’s not often I listen to this music anymore. Tonight’s choice is both random and coincidental.
The window onto my older girl’s world grows smaller with each passing birthday. Gone are the hands-on experiences with colorful cakes, bouquets of balloons and parties with themes and goody bags. Even this chauffeur gig has an expiration date. Someday in the future, when she’s on her way in the world, we’ll met up for lunch, go on a trip, who knows? We’ll reconnect.
Baby, I know you’ve got to leave me, you’ve got to ramble.
But, I can’t quit you.