Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | March 12, 2012

My brand new tiny baby girl turns 21 tomorrow.

I am unsure how I can have a twenty-one year old child when I myself am still twenty-one. Oh, wait. Fifty-one, you say? Huh. How did that happen?

But here she is: my grown daughter Anna Louise Flanagan, a force to be reckoned with, a girl who uses her powers for good in this world. I could not be more proud of her.

Anna is online researching her big birthday present: new ipod. I had to MAKE her agree to this. She is a child of the first world: started out in the brave new digital music world at her 14th Christmas with an ipod shuffle which would hold 100 songs and play them randomly.  “I thought it was SO TINY! But it wasn’t that small, apparently.”

Then another Christmas brought the gift of the slim red nano engraved with her full name by her extravagant ex-pat uncle, who must have gotten some kind of teacher’s discount, as most of the elder cousins received ipods that year.

The third, an ipod touch, came free with her college MacBook Pro (thanks Grandma!),  and has lived a full and rich life, which is now abruptly over, evidently. But this one has always had issues. The screen was soon cracked, although it still played fine. The hold button broke almost immediately, and email, youtube, and most other useful apps stopped working within the first month. It went through this phase of  “Do you want me to turn off? NO! I’m doing something. Oh, Goodbye.” Then it got dropped onto pavement a few times. The screen is mostly black now, with alarming shattery lightning-bolt scratches through and through. And the battery life is completely random, with the indicator having no relation to how long it would actually play. It could charge all night before a road trip and still be comatose before we reached the toll booth: an ongoing disappointment.

I’ve been thinking she needed a new one for a while, a year or two anyway, but her soul balked against this when she still owned two (inadequate) portable music devices. One is loaded with middle school tunage and the other threatens to erase all memory if jostled while charging. It has already forgotten all its 4 gigs of songs and required reloading from scratch several times.

Her late father would be beyond pleased that some of the recent cash from selling his collections: (his childhood sports cards, vintage toys) is being put towards keeping his girl in music. Nothing would make him happier. Unless he could take her to the Apple store himself and they could geek out together in there for a couple of hours. I myself am nowhere near cool enough to be comfortable there. But off we go, anyway. Happiest of happy birthdays, my darling girl. From both of us. All our best love, Mama and Papa.

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