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When I was a child, my dad came into my room every night for a short chat before bedtime. One night he made a comment I never forgot.
“Being a teenager is hard, really hard. If I could, I would live the teenage years for you.”
We finished our conversation, he stepped out, and I fell asleep. But I never forgot his heartfelt proclamation.
As the years passed, I realized he was right: being a teenager was rough. Hormones, friends and school; everything carried an extra bite to it. But I knew that no matter what happened with others, my dad was there for me.
In high school, it was a tradition among my group of friends to take each other out for birthday breakfasts. We showed up at the birthday girl’s home early that morning. Ignoring pleadings to let her get dressed and put makeup on, we forced her into a car full of laughing girls and treated her to breakfast. Throughout the school day, as we saw the birthday girl in her pajamas, she’d pretend annoyance and we’d laugh over our cleverness. Everyone protested about those birthday breakfasts, but we all secretly loved them. That’s why the tradition continued.
As my birthday approached, I wondered if my friends would treat me to breakfast. I paid extra attention to their conversations, but they didn’t seem to be planning anything. I hoped they were being extra sneaky.
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