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Parents feel pain as kids grow up

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By John Whitlock

I know most kids can’t wait to “grow up.”

But I never knew how much I would miss my own kid’s childhood until this year.

My daughter, Elizabeth, turned 13 in late November. This is her first Christmas as a teen.

It’s a lot harder for me than it is for her.

For 12 years now, I searched the toy aisles for something I thought she would love. The wish list or letter to Santa was an annual ritual.

But not these days.

Instead of  Toy R Us or Kay Bee Toys, most of my daughter’s wishes can only be fulfilled at American Eagle, Hollister or Aeropostale.

It’s sad for me. The thrill of seeing my kid open a present containing a magical toy she will treasure for years isn’t the same as watching her pop open a box containing a T-shirt she will outgrow in a year.

I’m excited about my daughter growing up. I’m pretty proud of her. She is shaping up as a decent, caring human being. Recently, she was invited by Duke University to take the ACT or SAT test along side high school students as part of a program designed to attract top academic talent.

But there is still part of me that wants to get her that Hungry, Hungry Hippos game she wanted all those years ago that I never got around to giving.

Christmas won’t be the same without all the toys but in many ways, I’m getting the best present. I have a great kid; a caring, beautiful wife; a couple of nephews I am starting to be very proud of; a mother who is still trying to make me a better person; and a sister who still loves me even though I don’t call enough.

•••••

I received an interesting phone call last week.

It was a “relay” call,” meaning a hearing or physically impaired person contacts you using a third party to makes a telephone call.

The person, in this case Wade Williams, wanted to put an item in the paper about teacup Yorkie pups for adoption.

Using the relay call, I would speak to the operator who, in turn, typed my responses so Wade could read them.

I was instructed to speak directly to Wade and not to the operator – a task that is a lot easier to say than actually do. Normally, when you speak to someone, you talk directly to them. I was answering the operator’s questions but using phrases like “tell him” or “ask him.”

It was a pretty interesting way to have a conversation.

Wade wanted to announce in the paper that he has a Yorkie teacup puppy for adoption. The puppy is registered with the American Kennel Club.

But Wade wants to send this puppy on to a someone else who is hearing impaired. So if you know someone who is hearing impaired and would like a Teacup Yorkie, contact Wade at wadewilliams26@yahoo.com.

•••••

In other dog-related news,  Richard Reeves of 1550 Ky. 227 has found a dog living on his porch.

Reeves said the big black dog is pretty friendly and appears to be wearing the kind of collar that goes with an electric fence.

Since the dog appeared at his house Dec. 10, Reeves has been feeding the dog and taking care of him.

The dog, Reeves said, obviously belongs to someone and he wants to help it find its way home.

If you are missing a large black dog, call Reeves at  463-2032.