Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Hooper: Sometimes, kids have to endure proud parents

The mother and father sit in the driveway toasting each other with tasty mimosas and broad smiles.

In the background, their kids trudge toward the school bus.

It's just an Internet meme, but in some ways it reflects the joy parents share about the first day of school.

Camps give way to carpools, homework replaces boredom and you finally have a legitimate reason to make them turn off the television and read a book. Or go to bed.

For me, a father still navigating the perils of raising a teenage daughter, the return to school this week represented a return to a more normal routine — or as normal as life can be with a girl bounding into adulthood.

No more Sunday night teen dances at the Dallas Bull ("Your paper wrote about it").

No more daylong, bikini-clad excursions at Adventure Island — in the presence of boys. "Just drop us off."

No more back-to-school shopping marathons that start at Target, traverse through the food court delicacy of rice and sticky chicken, wind through the pounding music of "AmericanAberAeroHolliSun" and end at the Michael Kors store.

Yes, the first day of school ends all of those summer shenanigans.

Yet it also represents a seminal moment, a rite of passage superseded only by birthdays.

You need only call up your Facebook feed and witness all the photos from proud parents to understand the degree of pride emanating from moms and dads. The grade school students flash toothy grins and hold up hand-drawn signs. Genuine excitement about going back to school fills their faces — and some parents actually think that's going to last through high school. HA!

Of course, older kids offer sheepish looks, wishing their foray into another school year didn't have to be subject to social media review.

But citing milestones remains so important to parents. One friend not only appreciates sharing photos with family and friends, but she also spends time reviewing past accomplishments and looking for ways to make the next school year even better.

At my house, however, the conventional back-to-school photo has given way to respectful objections.

"I would let you take a picture but you would put it on Facebook," she simply says.

No worries. There will be plenty of selfies to capture the moment. Trust me. Plus, I get to tell the readers of the Tampa Bay Times why she makes me beam with pride.

Something tells me she might not like this column.

Too bad.

Sometimes, kids have to live with proud parents. I didn't hoot and holler at her eighth grade awards ceremony. I didn't ring a cowbell when she scored a goal in soccer and I got my brakes fixed so my car would stop squeaking in the car line. Granted, I haven't replaced my two missing hubcaps, but you can't always get what you want.

I imagine we may face a few challenges as she enters her first year of high school, and the ride might get a little bumpy. Still, I'm confident she's going to overcome the challenges of adolescence, like a jet rises above turbulence.

And if she doesn't, her mom will be there to help out.

What I'll remember most about her first day of high school is that she shared it with three of her closest friends, girls she has known since grade school. I hope that bond endures through boyfriends and breakups, football games and fashion faux pas, teasing and taunts.

If they stick together, they can get through anything.

She'll read this column and call me lame, but I keep telling her, I'm not supposed to be cool.

I'm supposed to be your father.

That's all I'm saying.

Comments
Police: Teen, 17, shoots Pinellas Park man who confronted him after car break-in

Police: Teen, 17, shoots Pinellas Park man who confronted him after car break-in

PINELLAS PARK — A Pinellas Park teen faces a charge of attempted murder after police say he stole a gun from an unlocked vehicle and shot the owner as he tried to give chase.Police say Brandon Paul Roman, 17, faces charges including attempted murder,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run driver in Tampa

Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run driver in Tampa

TAMPA — A pedestrian was fatally struck by a hit-and-run vehicle early Wednesday morning.Police say the pedestrian died at the scene after being struck in the 6900 block of E Adamo Drive.Eastbound lanes are closed at S Maydell Drive, according to the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Student protestors reach Tallahassee; Kucherov gets it in gear; St. Petersburg’s black pioneers get their own documentary; fallout over the Souza trade

The Daystarter: Student protestors reach Tallahassee; Kucherov gets it in gear; St. Petersburg’s black pioneers get their own documentary; fallout over the Souza trade

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• For the latest legislative coverage from Tallahassee, keep checking The Buzz, which is updated throughout the day by the reporters of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.• Re...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Documentary pays homage to St. Pete’s black pioneers (w/video)

Documentary pays homage to St. Pete’s black pioneers (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — In the 1940s, David and Archie Boston grew up together in the Gas Plant neighborhood and hung out together on 22nd Street S, where black residents created their own main street, their own haven, in the midst of a segregated city.The ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Today’s WriteLane podcast: Narratives off the news

Today’s WriteLane podcast: Narratives off the news

Today’s WriteLane is about finding narratives off the news.The weekly podcast features Lane DeGregory, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, discussing her stories and answering questions. The focus is on craft.In this week’s epis...
Published: 02/21/18
Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

It bubbled up from the darkest online corners then began to take off: conspiracy theories about Parkland students who’ve spent the past week on TV demanding action on the gun violence that killed 17 and reawakened a national debate.By late Tuesday af...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 20

Tuesday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 17, St. Petersburg Cath. 0BaseballGulf Coast HEAT 9, Canterbury 4Calvary Chr. 6, Lakeland Chr. 1
Updated: 8 hours ago
Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

LARGO — An Illinois teacher used confrontation. A campus safety monitor in Seattle attacked with pepper spray and physical force. An assistant football coach in Indiana shouted as he chased him into the woods.All were civilians who took down an activ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

LARGO — Pinellas County School Board members are not happy about the prospect of having to hand over academic control at three struggling schools to a private company, and paying the firm up to $2 million on top of it. But that’s the course they must...
Updated: 9 hours ago