Okay, okay I’ll admit it. You all were right. Everyone who told me, “having a daughter is different,” and that, “she’ll have you wrapped around her finger,” you were all correct.
My daughter, Lucy, turns one this Wednesday, October 2nd, and I cannot believe it. This young lady has so much personality and with one look can make her dad feel powerless. Is that a common feeling for dads with daughters out there? We think we’re prepared to have a girl, but that’s not the case.
My boys, Henry and Theodore, have taken to their sister. The transition for Theo from baby to middle child has been difficult at times. He wants our attention so badly and balancing that is easier said than done. Henry, our oldest, loves his sister, but like me at his age, also enjoys time to himself. That is perhaps the biggest surprise in parenting, noticing the habits we pass along to our children.
I’d like to say that I’ve always been protective of my children even before Lucy’s arrival. But I also have to tell you that once baby Lucy was born, the protective instinct has been amplified. Is it because the stakes are higher when it comes to raising a daughter? Did you feel the same way? I don’t think I’ll be the dad that jokingly attempts to intimidate a homecoming date or first boyfriend, right?
I want Lucy to be a strong willed, independent woman that is equipped to do anything she sets her heart on. Maybe she will become the first female president?! I would like to assume that would happen before she’s of the age to run.
I’m also the product of strong women who raised me. My parents got divorced when I was around the age of three. My brother Phil and I lived with our mother, Sheila, and saw our dad typically during the week and on weekends (I should clarify that my father, John, was great and very present in our lives). That said, day to day we were with my mom, and in addition to her, we benefited from other strong women like my grandmothers, aunts, teachers, and more.
I hope that my daughter has the same experiences with strong female role models. I’ll work my hardest to be a positive male role model. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how strong of an impact my wife, Kasey, will have. She is the definition of strong, intelligent, empathic, and so on.
I know Lucy is only turning one and that there are a lot of years before most of my concerns become a reality. But time will be my biggest foe. How fast will Lucy go from saying, “Da-da,” to, “I need the key for the car, Dad”? That’s what scares me, is not being able to step on the brakes. Happy Birthday to my sweet Lucy. Thank you for making me a better person and father and for the gray hairs in my goatee.