It was great to have my 16-year-old daughter Marissa in town for five days last week to finish out her Spring Break.

I’ve been taking Marissa along with me on assignment since she was a baby. When she was 2, I took her with me to cover a wrestling tournament in Wisconsin.

“Sit here quietly while Daddy works,” I told her.

“Okay, Daddy,” Marissa said, her toothy smile holding a hint of the mayhem that lay ahead.

A few minutes later, she got up and ran out onto the mat during a match. I scrambled to scoop her up before the wrestlers got back over to our side of the mat.

My mood foul, we marched out to the car, where I extracted her car seat. I brought it back into the gym and strapped her in it, where she remained for the rest of the day. She was not pleased and verbalized those sentiments repeatedly at the top of her toddler lungs.

Last week, it was a bit different, thankfully. She tagged along on some photo assignments and texted her friends back home (of course) while I worked in my office.

On Friday, we hit the road for San Diego, where we were planning on taking in a Padre game and meeting up with some of my high school friends.

Yeah, I know. Voluntarily signing up to spend 20-plus hours in the car with my teenage daughter.

I never claimed to be the smartest guy in the world!

But it was a great weekend, full of conversation about her future – a future that hasn’t been a sure thing for the past few years, as she’s struggled with bullying, mental issues and numerous suicide attempts.

She’s solidly on the road to recovery now and wants to use her experiences to help others, perhaps by becoming a psychologist or therapist.

The baseball game was a special experience too… even though the Padres lost to the Brewers, we had fun, took pictures, watched a postgame laser show, and generally had a blast.

Kids grow up so fast these days. We need to treasure these rare moments when we get them!

Contact Gridley Herald sports/news reporter David Vantress at 846-3661, ext. 123 or by email at Follow him on Twitter at @dvantressGH.