Yesterday, our only child turned sixteen. To say I was a little worried about this is like saying, "sharks are kind of bitey," or "a drunk enjoys a beer from time to time." An understatement, if you will. For, you see, the sixteenth birthday comes with another milestone: the drivers license. And along with that comes the terrifying thought that your baby, who up until now has depended on you for so many things, is now free to drive her car to Sonic anytime she wants for jalapeno poppers.

I am here to tell you that we all survived. Madeleine woke up improbably early yesterday morning, and proceeded to spend approximately twenty-seven hours getting ready for her test. This involved much hair straightening, outfit picking, and eye makeup applying. When she was done, we presented her with a gift:

The box included this cute Kate Spade keychain/ID holder, and...

...a key to her new car.

Her new car is my old Honda Accord, which I bought when she was four years old. Y'all, the Japanese build an auto to last. Vince had taken it to get cleaned and detailed, AND installed some sort of fancy audio system inside. Madeleine, who is not a grinner, could NOT STOP GRINNING about this development. So she was happy. And off we went to the DMV for her driver's test.

She passed. And I became sore afraid.

Later in the evening we had a little family party for her, where we all enjoyed cookie cake and coffee. Please note that my grocery store flowers totally matched the cake and candles. I did not plan this. OR DID I?

Me and her grandfather had to tag-team lighting the candles, there were so many. That is because she is old, and so am I.

The birthday girl and her proud parents.


And that was it. Mad left the party with her pals, and proceeded to Taco Bell. The grandparents stayed and we had a weird conversation about what blogs were, and I had to explain Twitter and Dooce to them. They still do not understand.

Happy birthday, Mad Madeleine Chao. You are one in a billion.

AuthorAB Chao
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