Thursday, March 24, 2011

Water Cooler Talk

It happened again the other day. I try not to get bent out of shape about it. I know it’s just water cooler talk, kind of like someone saying, “Yep, looks like rain,” or “New shoes, huh?” It’s meaningless and actually a sideways compliment. But because it’s about my girls it gets my dander up. The random mom in the park or dude at the counter or student trying to make small talk who says, “Boy, when your daughters get older, are YOU going to be in trouble!”
There’s worse ways to say it too.
“You’re going to need a shotgun.”
“Better lock their windows at night.”
“You’re going to have to fight ‘em off with a stick.”
I shrug it off and smile all neighborly-like.
But I really want to punch you in the face.
What ticks me off is that it could be construed as a backhanded comment about my parenting skills. Do you really think I’m trying to raise hot little sluts that can’t wait to jump into the sack with the first boy that comes along? That I’m not going to teach them to value themselves over the pressures of some idiot, hormone-crazed teenager or sex-starved society? That I’m not trying to empower them to make strong, wise, confident choices about their bodies, their friends, their relationships, their own experience? Really, you random high-school drop-out stoner dude working the graveyard shift at 7-11? Really, you busy-bodied caramel macchiato slurping soccer mom packing your saggy butt into stretch pants? How’s your current sex life treating ya? Thought so.
The simple truth is, I actually look forward to the days when my girls start bringing boys around. I’m not going to embarrass the kid. I’m not going to, “Show him my gun collection and all the mounted deer heads on the den wall,” or pull him aside at the door and explain, “Whatever you do to her, I’m going to do to you.”
No… that’s silly. I’m trusting that after all these years of millions and millions of conversations about protecting themselves and right and wrong and being responsible and putting love in their heart that when they do bring some kid around … he’s actually going to be amazing.
I have to trust, that he will be amazing.
He’ll be the kind of guy that cuts his neighbors wood for free, and carries around a bar of flint in his car’s glove box just in case, and knows his grandmother’s recipe for molasses cookies and… who am I kidding, right? Next thing you know I’m going to say he probably memorizes Shakespeare passages in his free time and gives out Thoreau’s Walden as Christmas gifts, and has taught a couple of years abroad and fills my daughter’s shoe boxes full of love letters even though they talk every day and …. yeah. Those guys don’t exist, do they?
Better just buy a gun instead, huh?

1 comment:

  1. Brian, I love this post. My husband and I have gone around and around on this very subject. I agree with you 100%. Together we have 2 daughters and 4 sons. He has mellowed his overprotective nature towards our daughters and gotten a little more protective towards our sons. It is my opinion that if we stifle our daughters they will rebel like the stereotypical "Catholic Schoolgirl" and the boys will lie and be sneaky. So for our kids have made wise confident choices and I am proud of them! XO Cherie Dawkins (formerly Davis, of Colton...)