Today was the first day of high school for my daughter, and we are in the same building. Yesterday, she was happy about it. I took her into the building, she decorated her locker, we walked her schedule, and we talked about the best ways to get around and how the lunch lines worked. I was all-knowing in her eyes. Yesterday…
This morning, she woke up, showered, and got ready for that first day of the best-years-of-her-life. She was probably more excited than a preschooler on Christmas morning. And, when she walked into the kitchen, the first thing out of my mouth was, “You’re wearing that!?” Instant tears. Not Niagara Falls tears, just the little ones from hurt feelings. The tears that showed I rained on her parade. The tears that reminded me that I do not understand girls, even after teaching for 23 years, being married for 16 years, and being a dad for nearly 15 years. I felt like a dud, not a dad.
In my defense, I thought her shorts were too short. Of course, I have been told that I am the kind of Dad that thinks a Victorian dress reveals too much. How do I explain to her that the first night she was born I had a nightmare that boys in the classes I was teaching were asking her out. It seems that the time to face my fears has arrived, and I do not want some boy to break her heart. So, how do I explain that I will protect her, yet, deep down, I know her heart will get broken sometime? I know I always have Uncle Guido, but his fish-feeding services should be a last resort.
In essence, how do I make her day two better? I should probably start with thinking before speaking. Always a good idea.