11.

Today Julianna turned 11.

This year’s birthday post might have ended up looking like this:

This year, we talked to Julianna about sex.

The end.

That would have been a big enough event to cover the whole year. I then thought about what I did last year. Last year, I did a very clever “flashback” style story of her birth. This got me thinking about doing an even MORE clever “flashforward.” Maybe it would be fun to make up a story about her future right?

Then I thought, “I shouldn’t do that.” Someone will get offended. Someone will read it and think that I’m prescribing what she’s “supposed” to do and what she’s not “supposed” to do. Someone will think that my imaginary story is projecting and maybe I should just let her live her life and how dare I imagine what might come of her future. You know how people can be on the Internet and so I decided I wouldn’t do that.

Then I was out to dinner the other night with some people and this blog, along with the annual birthday post came up in our discussion. They had read the post from last year and thought it would be fun if I wrote a prediction of the future. I think it must have been a sign.

Fuck it.

2026

We are taking Julianna to Wellesley College for her freshman year (it is a great school, she has already expressed an interest in going there so she can be close to home, and I’m not complaining). She’s a dual-major studying early education and psychology. She told us in 2025 that she wanted to be a teacher, but between my wife, you, and I, I think she’ll end up being a guidance counselor.

She’s always loved helping people and on a scale of 1-10 for empathy, she’s an 11.

2030

She graduates at the middle-top of her class. She’s fine. She works hard and does well but I wouldn’t say that she’s passionate about school like her nerdy dad. During college, she had 2 boyfriends. She met the first one at a mixer with Brandeis University. He was really nice but he never went to summer camp and that was a non-starter for her. Even though she’s not in a rush to have kids, this guy was a bit of a “rebel” and doesn’t know if he ever wants kids. Whatever, he’s a nice guy and we’re sure he’ll have a successful career as a stock broker on Wall Street.

The other guy; now he was cool. She met him, coincidentally, at a different mixer with Harvard. The funny thing is, he didn’t even GO to Harvard. He went to Boston University but was hanging out with one of his camp friends and decided to tag along. You read that correctly, he’s a camp guy. They got to talking, realized they were both camp people, and really made a strong connection that night. I don’t know all the details, and I don’t want to know, but, he treats her really well and they get along great. Things were going great…

2033

…right up until she told us that they were going to move in together. It is 2033 after all. I guess it isn’t exactly how I thought things would go but it is fine. She thinks he’s “the one” and my wife and I agree (between us). Neither of them are in a rush to make it official. She’s a teacher in a local elementary school and he’s working for Fidelity in Boston.

It has been difficult to not have her at all the family holidays because she goes to celebrate with his family now and then. His family is great and all but its difficult to look around the table and not see her.

She seems really happy with everything going on in her life which is nice. In a somewhat shocking twist, they decide to get a puppy. I remind her of how she used to be terrified of dogs and how when she got a puppy when she was 6, she had to be carried around the house because she was afraid the dog would lick her face off. They name the dog “Becky” after her favorite character from Full House…yikes…too soon? It was 14 years ago already.

Life was great for her…

2035

…and then HE called and told me he was planning on asking her to marry him and could he have my blessing? What is this, Anatefka? It turns out that chivalry is not dead. At first I’m thinking, she’s only 27 years old. Is she ready for marriage? I’m thinking, its 2035 and she can do whatever she wants. She’s strong and confident and has a great career (loving the teaching thing). He’s working his way up the ladder, although he wishes he wasn’t wearing a suit and tie to work every day.

So I say, “let me check with my wife.” We give him our blessing.

He posts his proposal on Facestagram and she clicks “Yes!”

Just kidding, even in 2035 that is pretty tacky.

He proposes (I’ll let them tell you that story) in August. She says yes.

The following 13 months of wedding planning are “fun.” I do what I’m told and spend a good portion of the time working on my wedding speech. I also feel a great amount of anxiety about the “first dance” that we’ll dance together at the wedding. I’m not a good dancer.

2036

Wedding day! Even though I just turned 59 last month, I still look great in a tuxedo. I see Julianna for the first time in her wedding dress with all the makeup and the hair and the flowers and it blows me away. Ever since she was a kid I’ve always thought that she was beautiful, both on the inside and outside, but there’s something about seeing your daughter in a wedding dress…I’m not crying; you’re crying.

The wedding is wonderful. Our first dance is awkward. My speech is hilarious. I make a joke about how I’m sure that everything she knows about sex, she learned from the talk we had back when she was just about to turn 11. It gets laughter from the crowd, a very red face from him, and Julianna covering her face with both hands. It’s almost like she never learned that I’ve made it a life goal to embarrass her at the best possible times.

2040

“Dad, I’m pregnant.”

My 32 year old first-born daughter is going to have a baby. I’m not crying; you’re crying. There’s no doubt that she’s going to be an incredible mother. We’ve always known that.

I can’t believe that I’m 63 years old at this point and going to have a grandchild.

She has the happiest, most comfortable pregnancy. It annoys people all around her that she’s so happy all the time with being pregnant. She gives birth to a beautiful baby…

2019

…you don’t think I’m going to reveal the sex of the baby right now do you? I think this would be a nice version of the story. We can all check back in 2040 and see how close I was. I feel oddly confident that some parts of this might actually come true because its all based in how wonderful, caring, loving, and generous she is as a person.

I am so proud of what she has done so far and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

What is next? Who knows but as much fun as it is to dream about how happy she’ll be in the future, I’ll happily accept her being happy one tomorrow at a time.

Happy Birthday Julianna.

I love you.

-Dad