This was not what I expected. I always imagined my first kid to be a boy, you know, wrestling and getting dirty. I always thought I would have all the answers; having crushes, what cologne to wear, when to be smooth vs. goofy and letting him know what the world expects of him as a minority.
Up until the second that we received the news – “Congratulations. You are having a baby…” BOY. Thanks. I knew it. I cut the doctor off mid-way through her announcement because I was so sure but oh boy, or should I say girl because I was so wrong. When the doctor said we were having a girl, I could no longer imagine my life with a boy as my first child. She was all I could think about, it felt right.
Now don’t get me wrong, my daughter and I wrestle, we get dirty and I still do my best to explain to a 1 year old what the world expects of a young woman of color, more importantly, to exceed the expectations of a young black girl during this time. We do all the things boys do and she even throws better than a few guys I know – but MOM (Cue the super villain music) she wants to be as glamorous as her mom.
Here’s what I’m struggling with.
I saw the look in her eye when she saw her mom painting her toe nails and I thought to myself “oh no. It has begun.” Her mom is her fashion idol from being dolled up to just lounging in sweats. There is no off button. I’m not against nail polish, I just know that I will soon be lured in by the “please daddy” then be victim to her glitter, purple nail polish.
“I have a particular set of skills..” – Liam Neeson
I was asked by my colleague – Selena ” When will you allow your daughter to date?”. My initial thought was DATING? She’s going to work for Jesus, there is no dating. I have 2 answers for this type of question, 1. When she’s in high school, the topic can be open for discussion but it’s based on maturity and respect. I want a clear dialogue with my daughter which supports a “no secrets” rule. 2. My dad answer is when she’s 35, no debate.
I despise the idea of her dating but I have faith and trust that she’ll make the right decisions. BUT!!! I will always be on guard for teenage, sad romance.
Have you ever seen Taken?
(Cringing already) You may be thinking c’mon, don’t be immature but that’s not why. That’s her step into womanhood and I won’t be prepared for it. It’ll be painful , necessary for the both us but we don’t have to like it. See for guys, I can deal with the arm pit hair, the deep voice and weird smells but for my munchkin…….(I passed out, sorry.) Grabbing the necessary tools to handle those leaks will forever be a sad day for me.
Game face ready
As much as I want her to remain my small, munchkin forever, it’s always my duty to prep her for what this big world has in store for her. As a young woman of color, it’s my duty to nurture her progression in all aspects – no matter how difficult it may be for me. Truth of the matter is, I can’t fight every battle for her, I can’t always be there and I can’t always make things right. As her dad, I can teach her, mold her and be there whenever she needs me to lick her wounds aka “boo boo kisses”. For all you dads out there, our job is to continue to push our girls/family in the right direction in hopes that our seeds create a beautiful garden in their era.
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