Who’d have ever thought her?

That July Monday in 1998 was an especially gorgeous day to be driving the family car (a Jeep Cherokee) down the Kancamagus Highway with my three favorite people.

Part of New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, “the Kanc” runs parallel to the Swift River in places, and it was getting to be a tradition to stop off for a picnic on the journey from North Conway to Lincoln.  If the weather’s hot and the water is low, a pleasant dip just above the slippy, sleepy Lower Falls is in order.  If the water is high as it was on this day, the falls are no longer sleepy and the name “Swift River” is best remembered.

So while the kids stood on the rocky shore to have a look at the water, Linda and I spread out the blanket and began to unpack the picnic basket.  Between the forest light, the rushing water and the glacier strewn boulders, Lower Falls affords many a photo op and with Giles already seven, and Mary suddenly five, I wanted to be sure (there are some who are rolling their eyes just now) to capture the moment.

But there are no photos to be found from that picnic.  Having located my camera I looked up to see Giles alone on the shore and staring – thunderstruck – downstream, where rushing river morphed into roaring falls.

I leapt to my feet and…………….there was our blond little girl, around 25 yards down-river, soaking wet and calmly climbing up the opposite shore. When I was able to breathe again I hollered at the top of my lungs and anxiously dashed to a spot across from her, where I coaxed my daughter upstream along the shoreline to a place that was – just – narrow enough for me to hop across some boulders to retrieve her.

Well, now it’s 2012 and Mary’s birthday has spun-round once again.  Fortunately with a memory like that I didn’t have to reach very far for this segue to today’s selection, which was the same song we used last year when we made a YouTube video for her Eighteenth Birthday.

“Daughter” was written by American-living-in-England singer/songwriter/cartoonist, Peter Blegvad and famously covered by Loudon Wainwright III  on “Strange Weirdos” (coincidentally) his eighteenth studio album, which served as the musical soundtrack for the 2007 Judd Apatow film, “Knocked Up”.  All of which is a bit more seque than I bargained for, and I continue to take issue with the line, “blows her tiny mind” as our Mary has a very fine mind indeed.

Somehow I remain confident that Mary will manage to eke out a Wonderful Birthday regardless, and even while frantically hollering it at the top of my lungs, I am ever-immensly proud to proclaim:

“That’s my daughter in the water!”



Everything she sees

She says she wants

Everything she wants

I see she gets

 That’s my daughter in the water

Everything she owns I bought her

Everything she owns

That’s my daughter in the water

Everything she knows I taught her

Everything she knows

 Everything I say

She takes to heart

Everything she takes

She takes apart

 That’s my daughter in the water

Every time she fell I caught her

Every time she fell

That’s my daughter in the water

I lost every time I fought her

Yea, I lost every time.

Every time she blinks

She strikes somebody blind

Everything she thinks

Blows her tiny mind

That’s my daughter in the water

Who’d have ever thought her?

Who’d have ever thought?

That’s my daughter in the water

I lost everytime I fought her

Yea, I lost every time

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