Today Chloe turns 13.
We officially have 2 teenaged daughters. Julianna, as I’m sure you know, turned 14 a few weeks ago. For her birthday, in 2019, I wrote a “flashforward” set of predictions for how her life might turn out.
It is now 3 years later and it’s Chloe’s turn. Here’s what I said then, and what still applies now, as a preface:
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.
We just got off the plane in Los Angeles. Chloe is about to start her freshman year at UCLA. I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking the same thing: there’s no way she was going to choose a college so far away but UCLA has this mascot:
She does not have a declared major just yet but she has been leaning towards getting a degree in economics but will dabble with their Computer Science/Video Game Design program. I know what you’re thinking here as well: that I’m projecting. Unfortunately, in 2022, when it was year 9 (I think) of COVID, she surpassed me in video game prowess. This was the first time she asked for a “video game rig” for her birthday (I’m so proud).
It turns out that Chloe decided to stay an extra year and get her MBA. Before she graduated at the top of her class, she spent time working for the Daily Bruin and honing her writing skills. She really is well rounded when it comes to school. While she is now far better than I am at video games, she’s not quite as good a software engineer as I am yet. That being said, she is strong in the ways of the force and for my 56th birthday, she built the app for me that I’ve been talking about doing (but not having the time) since 2015: What Have I Eaten (I’ll explain in another post some day). She tells us she’s having fun at school but is pretty opaque when it comes to details. We have no idea if she’s been in any serious relationships. She won’t tell us and she hasn’t told Julianna. She did post a video on Instagram once with a guy but his face was clearly replaced with a Harry Styles deep fake so I’m not really sure what to make of it. Continuing the trend of surprises, she decided that after she graduated, using the money she earned at the Daily Bruin and from the What Have I Eaten app, she would take a year off and travel the world.
We are really happy that Chloe has moved back to the Boston area to a room down the hall from the bedroom my wife and I share. She is starting her own software company (which I can’t get into here just in case someone reads this and goes back in time to steal the idea) so we told her she can live with us while she gets the business up on its feet.
My wife and I think she’s in a relationship with someone because she’s always on a call or facetiming with this guy. At first I thought it was related to her company because they were talking about nerdy software things but then we started hearing her laughing (in the non-nerdy way) about other things. Whoever this mystery person is, she seems to enjoy his company. With her, it’s like pulling teeth so who knows. Julianna just recently moved in with her boyfriend who she describes as “the one.” They don’t seem to be in a rush to make it official but the writing is on the wall. They just got a puppy and so you know what that means…
It turns out that the puppy Julianna and her boyfriend rescued had a sibling and Chloe asked us if it was ok if she could rescue that one because, she said, “we should keep those puppies as a family, even if they aren’t living together.” Obviously we said yes.
Chloe is working really hard on her business. It’s in “stealth mode” so there’s very limited information about what’s happening. I hear her clacking away on the keyboard and chatting with people in Meta Teams Collaborative Slack. There are a number of people on the team now and by the end of the year she has secured funding.
It’s September, I just turned 58 last month and to be honest, I’m pretty distracted by the wedding planning for Julianna. Chloe has since moved into her own place in Boston (at least we think so, because we haven’t been invited over yet). Her company is doing well and they’ve released their game. I can’t wait for you to get to play it. It’s not surprising that she’s the boss. Chloe comes over to have dinner with my wife and I and you won’t believe what happens next (click bate): She says, “Mom. Dad. I have to tell you some news.”
[time slows down and I look to the camera for some exposition]
[time speeds up]
I’m like, “um, what?”
With a giant smile she says, “to [name redacted] of course. We’ve been dating for 2 years, you know, since I started the company.” She is so happy.
I’m like, “um, what?” The biggest surprise there is that I actually do know who [name redacted] is and I gotta be honest, I did not see that coming. Just wait until you find out who it is. #spoileralert
I have to say, I’m pretty excited (and relieved) for her. We always knew, unlike Julianna, that she wouldn’t be filling us in on all the details along the way. It really shouldn’t be surprising. The first person I ever “brought home” to my family was my wife. They have no set timeline for when to get married yet. She explains to us that they make each other happy. We already know his parents and they are good people. She also explains that she wanted to tell us now because she didn’t want to keep it a secret from us but wanted to make sure that Julianna and her wedding got the attention. This is oddly sweet of her.
Julianna’s wedding was incredible. I can’t believe it was 3 years ago already. It took a while but Chloe and her fiance finally set a date of March 26th, 2039. This shouldn’t surprise you. It’s a few days after Julianna’s birthday. Chloe has been waiting 30 years to appropriate that time of year as her own. It’s the Park Place to her Boardwalk of dates. The wedding is quite a bit different from Julianna’s but just as special. After Chloe saw how awkward the first dance with Julianna was a few years ago, she finally relented to fulfilling my lifelong dream of a choreographed flashmob style dance. That was the trade she made for me promising not to mention the infamous sex talk that I brought up during Julianna’s speech. I have to be honest, I crushed the dance (not bad for a 62 year old).
You are NOT going to believe this.
“Dad, I’m pregnant.”
I can’t believe it, although I shouldn’t be surprised. I always suspected Chloe would get pregnant before Julianna. They didn’t waste any time. I can’t believe I’m getting my first grandchild.
A few months into her pregnancy we find out that Julianna is also expecting her first child. This is so crazy. I’m so happy that they get to go through this experience together.
I didn’t think this was possible but her husband is now officially sick of eating mac and cheese, which was Chloe’s #1 pregnancy craving. Chloe’s pregnancy is a healthy one but I wouldn’t say she was the happiest pregnant woman or the most comfortable. It probably didn’t help that her sister has been so cheery this whole time. Chloe keeps telling us that Julianna should, “just wait until she’s another month along; she’ll be miserable too.”
After what seems like the gestation period of an elephant, Chloe gives birth to a healthy baby…
You know I can’t reveal the sex of the baby. That could jinx things. I suppose we’ll have to all check back in in 2040 and see what actually happened. Who knows if any of this will come true. This isn’t even wishful thinking. The only wish I have is that she’s happy. I suspect I might be in the ballpark for some of these predictions but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.
Today is Chloe’s Golden Birthday. This is the birthday where the # you are turning matches the day of the month. 13 on the 13th. I guess it is supposed to be a little bit more special.
She continues to grow as a person and while we have no actual idea of what the future will hold, I am certain that she has a bright future.
I would normally say that I’d be proud of her no matter what path she follows but that wouldn’t be accurate in this case.
In this case, I’d be proud of her no matter what path she leads.
Happy Birthday Chloe.