My daughter is definitely “daddy’s little girl,” that doesn’t mean I don’t expect her to grow up. I’ve never understood why men seem to prefer to have sons. Not me. My cousin — who’s more like a sister to me — has four sons, and each is exhausting. They are great kids and I love them, but when I discovered that my child was going to be a girl, I breathed a sigh of relief. Yet most of the other guys I know who are expecting their first child are desperate for a boy.
But why? Outside of the context of history and the associated inheritance laws, which gave everything to the firstborn son, why would a father prefer sons over daughters? Frankly, I think the reason is obvious: Sex.
Whenever I’d show off pictures of my daughter at any age, invariably the response I get from male friends is something like “Oh man, you are going to hate it when she starts dating,” or “You’d better get a shotgun.” It seemed that just because my daughter is Daddy’s little girl, I am not supposed to want her to grow into a healthy, happy adult.
The thing is, I don’t worry about the dating at all. I mean, I do, but not in the way that most people seem to imply. I want my daughter to have a happy and healthy adolescence and for her to have many fulfilling relationships. If anything, I want her to avoid that feeling of crushing loneliness and rejection someone might feel if she goes through high school without a boyfriend or girlfriend.
No, my fear about that part of my daughter’s life is how best to prepare her for it. My strict Catholic family had the policy to just never discuss that sort of thing. My grandmother wanted me to be a priest, even though I knew from an early age that was not where my destiny lay. Whatever hangups I might have when it comes to discussing dating and sex with my kid comes from my own experience. I want to be able to get past that so she can feel comfortable coming to me with any concerns.
Our generation has it harder than our parents did, I think. When I was young, my mother did not have to talk to me about social media or sexting. There wasn’t a chance that an innocent mistake could haunt me for the rest of my life in the way it can today. Nowadays, rather than buying a shotgun, I should probably learn hacking once my daughter hits her teen years.
Yes, my daughter is “Daddy’s little girl,” but that doesn’t mean she should feel like she should keep anything from me. I want her to consider me a trusted resource and simply an understanding ear when things get difficult. I am excited for my daughter’s eventual adulthood. She is an amazing girl and is going to be an even more impressive woman.