My Daughter’s Dark GiftBy
I’m a middle child. I just feel I need to say that up front, in case I start defending some of my nine-year-old middle child’s missteps. Irene Mills Smith was born St. Patrick’s Day, 2003. It was a rainy day, windy, a couple days before America invaded Iraq. I remember President Bush giving Saddam 48 hours to ‘run and tell that,’ to get out of downtown, to put ’em up or die. I hardly paid attention because I was holding my brand new baby girl in my arms. I had a four-year-old boy who was as close to perfect as any child I had ever been around. Parenting was easy, I had four solid years of being the perfect Dad. The first time Irene opened those baby blues and looked me square in the eyes that March morning, I knew immediately I would pay dearly for my many past transgressions. Like Saddam, I was warned.