Pal, you often say that I worry too much about things that will never happen. This is true. Lately I have been worrying about something that I hope will never happen but I know will. I loose sleep over it. I break out in stress sweats thinking about it. I curl up into a ball in a dark corner of my house and rock back and forth saying to myself, “never let this happen, never let this happen.” It is my nightmare.
Are you ready for this one. My worst fear. My daughters having S-E-crossing-hockey-sticks! Ooiuuughhh! I could barely even type those words.
I don’t want to think about it, but I am forced to when my kids (6 and 9 years old) are in the back of the car singing at the top of their lungs songs from Katy Perry’s latest album.
“Now get into your birthday suit, I want to show you my big balloons”
That is tame compared to what is really out there. At some point they will find what is out there. I am worried about what they have heard already. My 9 year old told me the other day, when we were talking about curse words, that she has heard it all because her friends (who are boys) play Grand Theft Auto and talk about it at school. I have never played it and I hope I am wrong about this, but I heard that in this game you can have sex with a prostitute and then kill her afterwards so you don’t have to pay her. These are 9 year old boys playing this (oh, here I go…stress sweat…increased heart rate).
They may not understand it now, but they will. And if they are getting such good feelings in a video game from screwing and killing a prostitute, won’t that be fostering deviant sexual behaviour? And won’t that deviant behaviour try to get all up in my daughter’s grill? (oh boy…stress sweat turned to flop sweat) Keep in mind that I am their Dad. What will it be like when they are older? What will I be like? I can see it now. Six years in the future. A boy comes calling to the Pal Residence. After a long day of killing prostitutes, this little scuzbag has come to pick up my daughter and take her to the movies. I can see it in his eyes. The same eyes that I had at that age. The same eyes that all my buddies had. Those testosterone filled windows into the soul. Oh, I know what you are thinking you little sperm cannon.
I want to rip out those eyes put them in my skeet shooter, scream “pull!” and shoot them to smithereens.
I get it all the time. Other parents (with sons) telling me to “watch out for your daughter when she gets older”. Fine okay. My daughter is cute and all the boys are going to fall for her. Sounds like a compliment. Is it? What I am hearing is, “your daughter is so cute that my son is going to try to F her when she is older”. Ha ha. Pretty funny. Sheesh.
OK. Lets try to be rationale about it for a second. Sex is a part of life. I know that. As a bowl of Mini Wheats is to breakfast, it is a part if a healthy lifestyle. I do it and am doing fine so why shou..l..dn’nnn…n…. (I couldn’t even finish the thought). At some point in their life they will be at the peculiar and awkward age of deciding how they are going to handle their sexuality. It has the potential to either be: (A) a wonderful expression of Love between two people, or (B) an exercise in victimization that leaves someone questioning their own self worth. I just need to make sure that my daughters make the right choices in life and all of their decisions are filled with confidence and self-respect so the result falls in the A column.
So how do I ensure that? Can I even? I heard about a study where it was determined that it is healthier for the Dad to give “the talk” than the Mom. Not sure why or what ‘healthier’ even means. If I believe movies and T.V., troubled girls are the result of negligent or abusive fathers. I am sure that it is more complicated than that. Regardless, my role is critical to how my daughters develop mentally. I just need to make sure I am in the right headspace to deliver the proper fatherly advise. Right now I may not be.
Maybe I need to self analyze my own issues on this before I decide it is a good idea to gouge out the eyeballs of every teenage boy in the neighbourhood. As a teenager myself, I was not much of a player and was jealous of those who were. Could I be projecting that jealousy onto those unsuspecting future eyeless boys? Is my fear really a projection of my own issues, depravity, and guilt over my own ‘sinful’ thoughts, and am I merely acting out on these boys as a means to make myself feel morally centred? Is this all just an exercise in narcissism?
I am not the only father of two daughters in the world. Humanity has plugged along just fine over the years without having to blind all the 15 year old boys. Wait a second. Humanity did used to do stuff like that. Is this why there has been so many horrible human rights violations over the years, which still occur in some areas? A father’s fear?
There is a father’s role, but also a mother’s. My daughters only need to look across the dinner table to see a self-confident, powerful and well adjusted woman to strive to be like. I know of no other women (or person for that matter) who has as much self respect and as my wife. It is awe inspiring.
I also have the comfort of my kids being pretty awesome in their own right. They are smart and very aware of their social environment. So, it sounds like the problem might be only in my head. I had one of my first tests the other day during a conversation I had with my 9 year old daughter. As a Dad yourself Pal, I would love to know your thoughts on how I handled it.
9: Dad, last year at school I would have conversations with boys about T.V. shows and cartoons. Now it is all boring stuff.
Pal: like what kind of boring stuff?
9: like wine and beer and drunk people
Pal: wait a minute. What drunk people are they hanging around with?
9: you know like Rob Ford and stuff
Pal: well that’s too bad. It sounds like you guys are at the age where the differences between boys and girls are really noticeable
9: I know right. Boys are like…
Pal: boys are just horrible
9: but you’re a boy
Pal: I know, but I always thought that girls were more mature than boys
9: You did?
9: not all boys are like that Dad. Jimmy isn’t like that he doesn’t talk about that stuff
Pal: he sounds like a good one. The rest are just awful. (pause) Don’t tell them I said that
9: I won’t. I will never tell them
Pal: just make sure you use that knowledge for when you find a boyfriend
9: okay, but I won’t have a boyfriend until I am a teenager
Pal: I was thinking more like in your 20s
9: I want to be married in my 20s
Pal: I don’t think so. You’re living with me until your 30
I asked my wife what she thought about this interaction and she said I should have focused on the “drinking and drunk people” part of the conversation not the “boys are horrible” part. I am sure she is right. Failed the first test. Thank goodness I have a few more years to figure it out. Thank goodness I have some great ladies in my life to help me.