The No. 1 question you’ll hear as a father of three girls is this: “When are you moving out?” No, no, that’s not it. It’s this: “Oooh, what are you going to do when they’re all teenagers?” Or, maybe it’s this: “Are you trying for a boy?” Oh, wait. Now I remember. It’s this: “You got your shotgun ready?”
Let’s look at each more closely.
First: I’m not moving out. I might move into the basement and have my family slide me flat-shaped food under the door, but I won’t move out. Yes, they can elect a new leader of their own “up top,” but I’ll be sticking around. I already get teary eyed just thinking about graduations, soccer games and recitals. There’s no way I’m going to miss any of it.
Second: When they finally all become teenagers, there’s a very good chance I’ll worry about them just as much as I do now. Probably more. That day, by the way, will be Oct. 5, 2027, or Emmy’s thirteenth birthday. Charlie might have her driver’s licence. George may be starting high school. Emmy might be getting braces. So I’ll worry about Charlotte staying safe in her robot car, George passing Grade 9 advanced bio-mechanical-molecular scienti-physics, and Emmy remembering she’s the most precious, beautiful little girl even with the extra hardware.
Third: No, we are not trying for a boy. As you may have noticed, I’ve already written about my vasectomy (in unflatteringly vivid detail). No, I didn’t preserve my sperm in a cryogenic freezer; there’s no need. Asking my wife to get pregnant again would be like asking Beck to accept another Grammy from Kanye. Did I want a boy?
Boy howdy, I would have loved a boy, and not for the reasons some might think. I’ll still play catch with my girls, and teach them how to fish. Wait, I hate fishing. Okay, really my wife and I would’ve absolutely loved to have experienced raising a boy because raising girls has been such a blast. I would’ve never thought I could love someone as much as I love my girls, and with boys it would’ve been just like that, but with toy trucks, smashing and jumping off things. Plus, I had so many cool boy names picked out (Kanye Beck). Do I worry about my name dying out? What, with this blog? Plus, I plan on being cryogenically frozen by the advanced bio-mechanical-molecular scienti-physicians.
Fourth: I will never own a shotgun. Of course, this pertains to boys, dating and S-E-X. There’s also that T-shirt some men wear: “Dads against Daughters Dating (shoot the first one and word will spread).” Tempting. Yes, the idea of hot-headed teenage boys lusting after my girls makes me want to throw up all over the keyboard. In fact, my brain just vomited. But guess what would hurt more: watching them run away because I wouldn’t let them grow up.
It comes down to this, I worry so much about my girls living healthy, happy, fulfilling lives that I really don’t worry about them growing up to be healthy, happy human beings with all the heartache, turmoil, joys and passions therein. You know what else would be worse than admitting my girls are normal human beings? Watching my girls spend weekends alone because Daddy wouldn’t let them go beyond the front yard after the streetlights come on.
Such horrible, worst-case scenarios run through your head anyway as a parent (car crashes, deadly diseases, global warming and alien invasions) that I’ll be relieved, quite honestly, when my girls have their first dates. At least I’ll know they made it to age 28 safely.