Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 15, 2010

What I’ve Learned From My Adult Daughter

Kids grow up. They no longer look to their parents for all the answers. They travel a world we don’t control and have

Families learn from each other

little say about. Sometimes, that means we lose touch, don’t understand each other anymore. Communication is stilted and challenged.

Not in my case. Though my daughter is all grown up, an officer in the Fleet, we are still very close. Where I used to be her teacher, now she shoulders that responsibility as well, showing me how to stay up to date in this bullet train of a techie world.

Here’s what I’ve learned from her:

  • Pandora is a great radio station. It’s online, plays on the computer or  phones (at least on her Druid) and probably when she gets even smarter, through the car speakers.
  • We now text rather than call. I have grown to like that. I start the morning sending her a hello. She responds when she has time. I feel like we are in touch all day. We still call, but the texting allows us to shout out when something is particularly annoying or exciting. One of the better inventions of the modern world.
  • Printing isn’t necessary. I thought it was. I’ve always made sure we had two printers in the house, one as a back-up. If both went out, I frantically ran out to the store to replace it. Not anymore. My daughter doesn’t even own a working printer. She had one, it broke, and she moved on without the histrionics I would have attached to that event. Everything can be emailed, bumped, displayed. Think you have to print out a boarding pass? Not true. She sent it to her phone; the airport agent scanned it off the screen. What a great world.
  • My idealism may be dead, but hers isn’t. So, for her sake, I try to be open-minded, understanding, less cynical. Otherwise, she might not want to chat with me as much.
  • How to have a best friend. It took me twenty years, but I now truly understand what a best friend is. My daughter accepts me for what I am, doesn’t hold our past against me, understands when I’m not perfect, and feels free to be herself around me. No strings. No expectations. Just us, supporting each other. It was worth the wait.

All this I’ve learned in the six years since she moved away from home. I can’t wait for the next six.


Jacqui Murray is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman.  She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a USNA columnist, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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