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  • My daughter Mandy turned 16 on a Sunday. My feelings for her had been greatly defined for me when I attended a nursery school parents' night. She had a friend at school whom she was always chasing after. When I met the 4 year old's father, I made sure to squeeze his hand with a firm grip. He was going to know that I was Mandy's Dad. But back to the 16th--being a loving and dutiful father, I went to a florist on Saturday and bought her 6 short-stemmed yellow roses. I had them put in an attractive box, and I filled out a card with "Happy Sweet 16--Love, Dad". She smiled when I gave them to her, and I felt that I had made a good decision. Sunday morning, the real anniversary of her birth, I was startled to hear a 9:00 AM knock on the door. Mandy was asleep and the rest of the family was at church. I was busy at my desk making up an Algebra 1 exam for the 9th grade class that I was teaching at the time. It was a delivery person, carrying a very long,white, rectangular box ---- for Mandy. I knew it must be from her boyfriend, but I still transported the present upstairs.As she opened the box to reveal the full dozen, long- stemmed red roses, tears filled her eyes. I quickly left her room, so that each one of us could be alone with our thoughts. "I'll have to get her two dozen next year!"
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