Tag Archives: daughter

My oldest is 34 today – What is that all about

Today is January 3, 2016.

34 years ago the announcement that may have been printed in the local paper would have said, “Mr Teddy Burriss & his lovely wife Rebecca (aka Bum) are the proud parents of a bouncing baby girl.”

Jessie

I asked them not to print that because I had yet to see our newborn baby bounce. And, Rebecca did not want me to test her.

True story – As an infant, I dropped her once and I was not testing the bounce theory.

Fast forward to yesterday when this observation of being the Father of a 34 year old really hit me.

I decided to look back at the past 34 years and review the memories.

Here are the ones that came to mind the quickest, not necessarily in chronological order:

  • 8lbs, 1 oz, 21.5″ long, ear is red from doctor using forceps, no birth marks
  • very alert, as if to be asking “who is that loud guy?”
  • blue eyes, ultimately blond hair at year 1
  • Ronald Regan was our President
  • loved to put food in her hair
  • Loves mashed potatoes
  • face plant at the pool
  • cousins
  • burb-bottom
  • loves to help mom cook
  • Dad hung Aubrey (the doll)
  • at Fireworks – ‘change the channel please’
  • “I’ll have Chicken nuggets and for my two sides I’ll have mashed potatoes and mashed potatoes”
  • Made me smile day one and still today
  • Short curly hair as a child
  • She loves (loved?) mismatched clothes
  • Play music and she danced. More like her mommy, not her daddy
  • Put a crayon or pencil in her hand and she smiled as she wrote words
  • She loves to learn
  • She loves the teachers who care to teach her
  • She asks lots of questions
  • She was as beautiful as a child as she is today
  • No, she did not have me wrapped around her little finger
  • I gave her my favorite little car
  • Miss curfew and Mom will run down the sidewalk in her big fluffy yellow robe & curlers in her hair to yell at you and your boy friend
  • She was clear and precise at finding her life partner. Skips celebrations on Leap Year since 2000
  • Her husband is a good choice.
  • The trials and tribulations of becoming a tenant. Slum lords suck
  • Love pushes you to achieve lots of goals, including your husband’s US Citizenship. It was all him, but with a good women behind him
  • Early Home Owner  because you built your Credit Score
  • You became a fabulous mommy in development on 5/13/2003
  • “What do you hear?”, “I hear two”, “two what”, “heart beats”, “where”, in there”, “in her?”….
  • A business woman has Focus, Passion, Desire, Attitude, Ability, Purpose, Goal, Compassion, Faith and never lets anything stop her from building a thriving business that changes peoples lives in a positive way
  • Landlord, Home Owner & Mortgage Banker
  • Yeah, we’ll have 4 children
  • Your family is my family, let’s do what we can to help them
  • Our home is their home
  • We are responsible for her success because we brought her to our home. We’ll treat her like our daughter.
  • Tippy
  • Becca
  • Rosie
  • Bubble Lips
  • Hard work is only for those who don’t love their business
  • Yes baby, we’ll move to Raleigh because you love your job
  • Tree
  • Luge in the back yard in the winter
  • Walking in the blizzard
  • Can I play with the computer Daddy?
  • What is the Internet and how do you make money using it?
  • Myrtle
  • GrandWeWaps
  • Dad bought a bra
  • Boss & Leader
  • Entrepreneur
  • Activist
  • Writer
  • Why is Izzy crying now?
  • Columnist
  • If the answer should be yes, she’ll not take no for an answer.
  • Smart
  • Sassy
  • Frugal
  • Moola Saving Mom is a success!
  • Strategist
  • Happy
  • Loving

My daughter – Jessie Lee.

I am a blessed Man. I have four beautiful smart, compassionate daughters. Each raising their own family. Being a Blessed Dad kicked off for me 34 years ago.

Happy Birthday Jessie

I love you

Dad

Here are some images that sparked my memories

Public or Parochial School

In 1997 we moved from Maryland to North Carolina. It was a tumultuous time and very difficult on my wife and four daughters. I’ll write more about this later. Today I want to share the story of choosing a 9th grade school for our oldest daughter who was 14 at the time.

Jessie had been in a very good school in Maryland.  She’s a very smart girl and was taking classes a grade higher than most of her class.  When we moved to NC the public school system in Davie County was having a hard time figuring out where to put her. After many constructive and a few un-constructive conversations with the counselors at Davie High School we decided to try some other options.

We looked at a few of the private schools nearby, but being a single (low) income family, we decided that they were outside of our budget.

I got the bright idea that we should try Gospel Light Christian School in Walkertown NC. It was about 20 miles away, but the commute could be tolerated. My wife and daughter were not excited about the idea. They tried to convince me this was not an option because we were not Independent Southern Baptist and would never be Independent Southern Baptist. They were sure that this was a mistake, but agreed to go with me just the same.

I called the school and arranged for us to come by bright and early on a Monday morning. We arrived at about the same time all of the students were arriving.  All of the boys had on khaki pants and long sleeve white shirts, many had ties on. All of the girls wore ankle length skirts and long sleeve high collared blouses. Very few had on bright clothes. This created angst with my wife and daughter, who was dressed in jeans and some type of designed t-shirt. My wife was wearing pants and a bright shirt. They immediately commented that we stood out like sore thumb.

We walked into the school and were greeted by a very nice lady, again in an ankle length skirt and totally covering blouse. Her hair was up in a bun, just like you would expect some older teachers to wear theirs.  She escorted us to a room where the “Head Master” waited for us.

He greeted us at the door with, “Hello Mr & Mrs. Burriss, welcome to our school. Come in.” He didn’t even acknowledge our daughter.

He walked around his big desk and sat down as we seated ourselves in three chairs in front of his desk. He was expecting us.

He immediately went into the history of the school and the beliefs of the church. He rambled on about the graduation rates and successes of some of their students. He spent an inordinate amount of time sharing with us the beliefs of the church.

Now, it’s important to know that my wife is the boss when it comes to our children’s education, what she says goes and she wants to make sure all of our children get the best education. Therefore, she had lots of questions for the headmaster.

Each time she asked a question the headmaster would look at me and answer to me as if I asked the question. Each interaction he had with us was directed towards me. I’m not the smartest tool in the shed, but I quickly noticed this and as quickly I noticed the unhappiness building up in my wife. Not only did I feel this was rude, but it was also very disrespectful to my wife.

At one point I asked Jessie if she had any questions for the headmaster. I can’t recall if she did, but it would not have made much difference. The headmaster had totally ignored her and likely would have treated her with the same disrespect as he gave my wife.

I would have thought that he would have wanted to engage her in some conversation, maybe ask her some questions about her previous school or tell her about some of the great things going on at Gospel Light Christian School. Maybe, just maybe, try to get her eager to want to go to their school. But no, he totally ignored her and focused all of his conversation directly at me.

Now, I don’t recall what the big tipping point was, but between my wife and I we figured out in short order that, yeah, my wife was right. This was not going to work.

The headmaster did not want to communicate with my wife or daughter at all. It was obvious to me that he, and likely the religious beliefs of this school/church, were that men were in charge and women held no authority at all. Yep, this was not going to work for our family.

In some ways I felt that the headmaster had judged us as Yankees and really did not want our daughter in his school.

I do recall that once this clicked for me, I told the headmaster that we decided that this school would not work for us.

Here was the final confirmation for us, he said, “Yes, I can see that this will not be a fit for any of us.”

Wow – If I were not a Christian I would likely have responded in an ugly way.  I decided to just leave with a polite good bye, turned my back to his extended hand shake request and walked out of the room with my wife and daughter in front of me.

As we walked out to the car I got to hear what I hear over and over again, “I told you so,” as my wife sneered at me with that look of unhappiness. I apologized with, “I know, that was a big mistake.”

I agreed and never brought up the idea of a church school again.

To this day I try not to bring this story up with my wife and daughters. They just shake their heads and look at me with that sneer.