The Girl…..and a father’s love

The girl.  My girl. Daddy’s girl for sure. I’ve stated it before in reference to my son and it still holds true, every age is my favorite age with my kids. It’s always an adventure.

A friend of mine and his wife who already has a son, just had a girl.  He catches me the other day and says, “Hey, you have both.” “That’s the dirty rumor.”, I reply. He asks sincerely and expectantly, “What’s the difference?”  His question is more to the point of differences in how you raise and interact with a girl child as opposed to a boy child. Far less to do with plumbing which is obvious. Truth is, we could talk for hours on the differences and still never begin to scratch the surface of the differences.

Boys are boys, but, boy howdy, girls are GIRLS, and my girl is all girl. My sweet lady and I wanted a little girl first. I even went so far as to, when we discovered we were having a boy first, mope for two weeks solid lamenting the fact of a boy first. I’m glad we had the boy first because it makes me appreciate the differences all the more.

She was perfect when we brought her home. All pink and pretty and deeply rooted into that special place reserved for daddy’s girl from the moment she breathed air. The fact that she was our second and ultimately destined to be our last made us less fussy over the little things. She shared the same place as the boy in only getting quiet and going to sleep for daddy instead of mommy. For the first couple years the wife swore she was out to exclude her from the family by hook or crook. She’d ignore my wife both willfully, purposefully and blatantly at every opportunity. Daddy’s voice and attention was all she would listen to.

She’s tough as nails to boot. She puts on a different face to the world these days but daddy has always known the truth. One particular day I was picking her up from daycare. There she sat in the office in a chair, eyes swollen and red and snot everywhere. I ask the girl at the desk if there was a problem. She looks at me and coyly states, “We had a bit of a meltdown earlier. Nothing major.”  Turns out she was told no to this thing or that and boom. Vesuvius. I told the little girl not to fret. No is a common term in our household. I then advised the young lady to be on guard because, “she’s sneaky mean.” “That a terrible thing to say about your child!”, she replied but the truth was the truth. What is sneaky mean you may ask. Did you ever play football at a friends house with the neighborhood kids? There they are all in a pile wrestling over the ball. All arms and legs and hair and teeth. As the pile dissolves one kid as he or she as the case may be, gets up, they put their knee in someones thigh, or elbow in a throat, or a thumb in an ear, accidentally on purpose? That’s sneaky mean.  There’s a good three or so years between the boy and the girl in age. I can still see the boy playing quietly in the floor with toy X as the girl walks by him and unprovoked, whacks him in the back of the head and keeps toddling along as though nothing had every transpired. At no time did her hands leave the ends of her arms. Magic. Sneaky mean. It’s because of this that when other men, mostly non fathers of daughters, comment that I’ll be waiting, firearm in hand, for the boys as they come courting that I just shake my head and say I have no worries of that. She is fully capable of twisting any boy on the planet into a knot.  Whoa to any boy that hurts her physically or emotionally. When she gets done with him there won’t be much left to go to prison for.

She’s always has been and still is, daddy’s girl. We loved to play the game of I love you more. Back an forth until finally she would say, “You win.”  Of late, I tend to be the one who say you win first, much to her delight, but always knowing she is the real benefactor.

There is a lot more drama these days as well. As I said, she is all girl. All pretty and pink and flamboyant and expressive. Some days it will exhaust you in a nano second. Others, it is pure joy to watch. Never boring. Never. She has the most personality between the two kids by a country mile. She’s more of a walking sight gag or a spit take than a well crafted premise with a punchline that makes you think but she can make you laugh just as well.

She’s creeping up on womanhood. A fact her father is both lamenting and welcoming. I fear the trials she will face in middle and high school. Girls can be so brutal to each other. Sometimes it’s little better in adulthood. Men fight battles on a physical plane more so than the psychological warfare the female species are masters at. The mental and physical torture of becoming a woman is an alien world to men and so her mother will pull the bulk of the duty for that. My job will be to be, well, daddy. A safe haven, a gentle hand, an open ear if it comes to it. I welcome it though because she will be a beautiful woman both on the outside and more importantly on the inside. She has a kind heart. She loves God like no other child I’ve seen. A practical and genuine faith that causes her dad to swell with pride and be ashamed of his own lack of faith all in the same instant. She is graceful and clumsy, joyful and thoughtful, gabby and personable. She’s not yet a tween in years but getting there. She is my girl. The best girl. Wrapped up cozy and tight in daddy’s heart from the first minute she breathed air. She is one of the three best things in my life. I don’t deserve a girl this sweet, a boy this fine or a wife that loves me this much, but I have them and so I’m a man with much to be thankful for.  As she is about to be eleven I’m especially thankful for the girl. My Girl. I love you baby girl….I love you more….you win….(i win).