May 15, 2000
Seventeen years ago today, I stood in a delivery room at a hospital ready to faint. At the time, I thought I was queasy because I had never witnessed the birth of a child. I have since realized that I was sick to my stomach because I was going to be the father of a teenage girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ashley with all of my heart. I am just not ready for her to be a grown woman yet. Ashley is now the same age that Trina and I were when we met and I remember what I was like at that time in my life. Teenage boys should be corralled and not allowed access to the opposite sex until they have finished college or had a year playing double-a minor league baseball. Ashley has now been dating for a year. Just before her last birthday, she sat down with Trina and I to talk about dating. We tried to explain to her that she should not get to serious about a single boy and date several boys before deciding on just one. She assured us she would never have a steady boyfriend and suggested we implement a rule where she would date one boy for only three dates. Trina explained she could not enforce this rule. Wanting to help the best I could, I volunteered to enforce this rule to its fullest extent. I went further to establish guidelines for her dates. Before each outing, her date and I would go into the backyard. There he would be given 10 pitches to hit with a wiffleball. Ashley would then be given 10 pitches. If the boy out hit Ashley, the date was on. If Ashley out hit the boy, I would thank him for his time and send him on his way. So far over the past year, this rule has worked quite well. In fact, the majority of Ashley’s first dates have been to the batting cage for her date. She has broken the three date rule but I can’t complain. For each time she breaks the three date rule, I get a box of Dairy Queen Dilly Bars.