i’m a #girldad. i’m more than cool with it. not every guy gets to have a babygirl and i cherish every moment i get with her.
i even cherish those kicking and screaming moments. those moments when asking her whether she wants to eat crackers or puffs results in complete meltdowns. i guess i’m already supposed to read her mind. she’s probably wondering why she always has to make the decisions. i can just imagine her thinking “you’re the adult, you figure it out!”
i’m good with those moments because those good times are the best times. when she says “daddy!” and i still have to pinch myself because i’m the one she’s calling for, damn it’s crazy that i get to be her daddy forever.
i love cuddling with her and watching her shows, no matter how many times we watch moana or sesame street. i can watch cookie monster learn he better “stop and think it through” a million times if it makes her smile every time.
in 2018 though, there is a lot to make a #girldad uneasy. i’ve been reading and watching the accounts of the gymnasts and patients treated by the despicable larry nasser and it’s hard to imagine the horror these young women are experiencing while reliving their torment. i just cannot imagine being a father to one of these girls and not wanting to tear off that guy’s head. heaven help me.
we have a president who has bragged about sexual assault and then brushed it off as “locker room talk” as if simply joking about grabbing women by their vagina without consent is funny and acceptable, as if forcing his cold duck lips on women is just material for a funny story later. what’s worse is that while senators and congressmen and actors and directors and other public faces have been ousted in shame, this man was elected to the highest office in the land with no recourse. what are we thinking?
as a #girldad, i want my daughter to know her voice is strong and powerful. when she speaks, i want people to turn and say, “whoa, who is that!?” i want her to be independent and tamed by no one. i want her to shatter ceilings. when she says no, brother, you better stop and think it through. it starts with me, when i ask her for a hug or a kiss and she says no and runs her little toddler strut the other way, it’s all good. because she said no and even at 18 months, no means no. no question.
when my little girl is searching for her first career job, is it too much to ask for her to get equal pay to do the same job as a man? i bet she’ll do it better than anyone else anyway. tell this #girldad why she isn’t worth equality.
listen, i know the world doesn’t operate in utopia, but utopia isn’t what i’m after. yes, i’m biased. i think my daughter is the best at everything and i see no reason to think differently. i just think we can all do better. as men, we can be better examples of what real men look like.
i’m not dreading those trips to american girl if that’s what she’s into. i’ll run to sign her up if she wants to learn karate, pretty sure she’ll be fierce and you won’t want to mess with her. when she gets her heart broken, i’ll force myself to keep quiet about whoever hurt her. i hope.
she’ll always be daddy’s little girl.
let’s just create a better future.