Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

This Day Had To Come

I was raised in a house with four women, all at different stages of their life.  There was my younger sister, my mother, my grandmother and her sister.  Only in an all-girl’s school would I have to deal with such a high percentage of estrogen.  It is ironic that decades later, I would be repeating that similar lifestyle.  Only now instead of being a pre teenager, I am a father with a wife, and two daughters.  The thing is, I definitely was not prepared for a discovery from my oldest daughter, at nine years old.

From the time that Wendy and I decided to be parents, and knew our first child would be a girl, we had begun to strategize and plan for “her” future.  How old would she have to be to date?  What curfew would she have?  How about what she would wear?  And what about experimentation?

And so, over the next several years, I would rehearse in my head what I would subject my daughter to when it came to dating.  Ah yes, grilling the unsuspecting boy who will clearly be convinced of returning my daughter in the same condition as when he took her out.  I know my daughter is not a car, but if her date treats his car with care and respect, I am certain he will get my drift.  And for my suggestion to be honored, he would have to know that there would be consequences for failing to honor my suggestions.  I play it out in my mind, he rings the door bell as he should (if he honks the horn instead of coming up to the door he already has lost his opportunity).  Then as my daughter comes down in excitement, tells the boy that she is just about ready, returns back upstairs, and then I go into action.  My daughter comes downstairs, ready to go, and I “have such a proud, yet sad look on my face as my little girl goes out on a date”.  She would be totally unsuspecting of the riot act that had just been read to her date.

There are plenty of different versions of how this played out.  It seems as I will never get the chance.  Recently, while cleaning off a countertop, I came across a piece of artwork done by my oldest daughter, then eight years old.  It was drawn in great detail.  Under each character sketched was the name of each person.  There was Madison laying in a hospital bed, her sister standing next to the bed, and her “boyfriend” or as she once informed me, her husband.  In the door walks a nurse wearing a cap that has not been worn by nurses in over four decades.  In her arm was a baby.

Cue the sounds of a multi-car wreck.

Too many details.  Too many easily identifiable characters.  Did I say too many details?  I called Wendy on the phone as she had been out with her sister for a girl’s night out, and she could not believe it.  Then I called the “boyfriend’s” mother, a great friend of ours, but now, evidently unknowingly to each of us, a potential in-law and grandparent.

I know, it was just a drawing.  But why couldn’t she have drawn a butterfly, a princess, a dog?  Everything I had hoped to some day play out, now would face a different strategy.  Being raised in a house with all women was supposed to give me an advantage, prepare me, have the upper hand.  Instead, I am still learning.

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