Yes, I am well aware I cannot cloister my daughter for the next 38 years
However, some comments burn at me because they come from people who I expect more from. Today's was a comment about the kid, my future relationship with her to be exact. For context, the jabs about me being a protective Papa started and at some point, the old saw about me not wanting The Kid to date until she's 30 or 40 was brought out.
"You do realize she's not for you, don't you?" That was the comment, asked with legitimate concern, as if I'm a predator. Maybe I'm being dramatic, but that's not something you ask as a joke. And then I was given a small lecture on the need to equip her with the tools to fend off the boys instead of just cloistering her.
No sh*t Sherlock.
I am old fashioned enough to be concerned about the safety of my kid, especially as she becomes a teenager, and maybe a little more so because she is a girl. While you can interpret that as sexist, I interpret it as an acknowledgement that there are very different standards in society for acceptable behavior for boys/men compared to girls/women.
I also fully understand I have an independent minded daughter. Even at her young age, when you tell her no, she continues to push the boundary. Some of that I can chalk up to her being almost 2 years old, but some of it is who she is naturally. I expect this part of her personality to intensify as a teenager. And she already knows she's cute and has great command of any room she is in, especially when there are kids her age around as evidenced by one hopeful suitor.
In a post a few months ago, I said, "I'm just a Papa who wants his daughter to know she is worthy of being loved for the rest of her life." What did I mean by that statement? I believe The Kid deserves,
- Someone who loves, accepts and respects her for who she is
- Someone who treats her as an equal partner
- Someone who is never violent toward her, even in his/her speech
- Someone who will support her dreams and be there to pick up the pieces if those dreams are shattered
- Someone who will comfort her when she is hurting
- Someone who works everyday to strengthen their relationship
- Someone who will challenge her and help her become the woman she was born to be
But when the jokes subside, I know that I have to work everyday to equip my daughter to deal with everyday life. Part of that is being the best example I can be, even in the face of ignorant comments.