Sometimes it’s so easy being a Dad…
This week the wife asked if I would take the 14 year old out to shop for an outfit for her first real no adult’s concert coming up. I didn’t know you needed a full new outfit for that? I thought she could wear one of the 8000 shirts or pants she owns, but I’m not 14, nor a girl, so I’m clueless apparently. But, I said I would take her. Quick, easy little trip to grab a cute little outfit will be 10 minutes, right? Hahahahahah
Another day I had promised my 12 year old I would take her to find a bathing suit for her trip to Nashville. Gotta look cute at the pool I was told. Again, no big deal I thought. As she was trying on a few suits and asking me to hang them back up and throwing them at me and running back into the dressing room a woman, maybe in her late 50s gave me a smile. She said “It doesn’t get easier!” And I give her a little laugh and then she said “But, you’re here. So you’re doing a great job”. I gave her that same little laugh and said thanks and I appreciated the compliment. I get credit just for showing up? Being a guy is so easy!
Being honest though, I was a little hurt by her comment. Like, I get points for just showing up? Is that all that is expected of Dads? Is that how we are thought of? There was a Chris Rock comedy bit a while ago where he was saying people take credit for stuff they are SUPPOSED to do. “I TAKE CARE OF MY KIDS”…. And he goes on and on saying “You SUPPOSED to take care of you kids.” I think Dads are supposed to be doing whatever is needed for their kids. We don’t live in a world where the Wife does everything and the Husband does the work. We live in a world where if you are a Dad and say “the Wife does that” I think you are in the minority.
I got home from this shopping experience and was explaining to my oldest daughter what had happened. I was telling her about the comment from the older woman and how while I think she meant it as a compliment I took it as an insult. We started talking about words and meanings and she explained that an older woman grew up with a different husband and wife dynamic and her seeing a Dad waiting outside a dressing room and helping their daughter looking at a million bathing suits was probably a bit of a shock to her. I was arguing it shouldn’t be and that Dads are doing the same things I was doing EVERYDAY. And then she said something that made my day. She said “I expect it” Dad. I expect you to do those things and I will expect it forever. She explained how the older woman might be surprised by it, but she and her generation of woman expect more than just showing up from a Dad. She already knows she is equal or better than any man. My wife is raising her right...
Anyway, I argued with her a little more, because I LOVE arguing with her. Hearing her defend her point is music to my ears. Watching her find the weakness in my argument and exploiting it is what makes the conversations worth it. She fights for what she believes in and isn’t scared at all to express her opinion. A confident little girl will turn into a strong, powerful woman someday and I hope you are raising your boys to be ready for this. Someday soon, girls will run the world. Just remember whose side I was on when that happens!