I can’t wait ’till they’re teenagers

Ever since I was 12 years old, I knew I would be a father.  And not just any father, but a father of girls. I can’t explain it. I knew I would have at least one daughter. It’s been my dream, my hope.

In my high school years and through my 20’s the group of people I was most comfortable with was the teenage girls. And not in a creepy way, really. They’re just the people I’ve related to the most. They’re the ones I’ve mentored. They would see me as an older brother, and I was happy to treat them as my little sisters.

I’ve always had a paternalistic nature. But now that I have daughters that feeling has only amplified. I love these girls. I love (almost) everything about them. I live for them.

And that’s why I cannot fathom the motivation of someone who says “oh just wait until they’re teenagers. You’ll be ready to scratch their eyes out.”

Seriously? I can’t wait. I’m going to love it.

I’m looking forward to what comes. I love the crazy, the unpredictable, the weird. I’ve been loving it for years. Are you kidding? Teen girls have always been an easy group for me to connect to. There’s no one I would rather spend my time with.

It won’t all be giggles, obviously. I know that teenagers experience a whole world of emotions and hormones all at once. They aren’t prepared for that, and it’ll me my job, as well as CFM’s, to get them through that. They’ll be looking for who they are. They’ll be trying to figure out what they want in their relationships. This’ll be new to them. I’m excited to face that alongside them. They’ll be adjusting to becoming an adult, being treated like an adult, relating to me as a fellow adult. That’s gonna be a rollercoaster.

I’m not afraid of the emotions. I’m not afraid of the boyfriends. I’m not even afraid to sit beside them as they deal with their particular challenges.  As a Dad, I refuse to back down from these, because I know this what I was made for. I’ve known for over 20 years.

I’m not afraid of the outbursts, the anger, the independence. I know they will come. As a Dad I know that I’m not raising little girls. Eventually I’ll be raising women.

And that’s what drives me.

These women will have to contend in a world that probably will not be ready for them. I have no reason to believe that women’s status will have improved by then, so I have to prepare them to deal with a society that is against them.  Will they disagree with me? I hope so.  Will they yell at me? Of course they will. I hope I never kill the fire in their hearts, their minds. That fire is going to change the world.

None of that scares me. Do you know what does though? What makes me afraid is the fact that the people who tell me “oh just wait” have daughters. The fact that these daughters can overhear their fathers say this weighs on me, and it breaks my heart to see what it does to them. It makes me afraid for those girls, afraid of the uphill battle they will face later in life.

Don’t do that to your daughters. Don’t be afraid of the women they will become. Join me.

Because I can’t wait.

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