She Doesn’t Want To Break His Heart

I sat and listened as she told me that she doesn’t want to break his heart. She thinks that he is a nice boy and that it is unfair that this kind of thing has to happen.

I nodded my head and took her hand in mine. She looked up at me and asked it ever gets easier and I sighed…deeply. It is unfair but no one ever promised that life would always be fair so sometimes you just have to suck it up and move on.

Move on is exactly what I wanted to do but I couldn’t. I couldn’t because she wanted an answer and I didn’t want to give her the wrong one. So I looked her in the eye and told her to listen very carefully.

“Seven year-old girls do not have boy friends. You have friends who are boys.”

She glared at me and said that I was wrong. I shook my head and told her that I wouldn’t relent. “Daddy, he asked me to be his girlfriend.”

I told her that I didn’t care. “You are too young to date. You are supposed to be having fun now. Besides, didn’t you tell me that Jimmy asked Cathy to be his girlfriend too?”

She nodded her head and told me that Jimmy has asked almost every girl in their class to be his girlfriend. “One day you aren’t going to want to share your boyfriends with your friends.”

“Daddy, friends are supposed to share.”

“Not like that they aren’t. You can start dating when you are 117.”

She giggled and told me that I told her that she could have a baby when she is 49 and has finished medical school. “Daddy, if I can have a baby at 49 then I should be able to have a boyfriend then too.”

“Ok, you can have a boyfriend when you are 49.”

Thirty seconds later she wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me on both sides of my face. As she ran off to play I knew that she was thinking that she has me wrapped around her finger. Well, let her think that all she wants because when it comes to boys and her it simply isn’t true.

*****

For those of you who are wondering I know that there is nothing hinky going on and that they are just playing. If you ask my daughter what it means to have a boyfriend she can’t give you an answer that extends beyond you spend time with them and sometimes you kiss them on the lips. I can live with that. She has already told me that she thinks kissing a boy now would be gross.

As my Israeli friends have said many times, “Ani lo frier.” I am not a sucker and I am not stupid. The day will come when she will want to kiss boys and then some. I am in no rush to make or see that happen.

But that doesn’t mean that I am not building a foundation for her. She is going to grow up knowing that her happiness is contingent upon herself. Her sense of self worth and self esteem isn’t based on what boys think of her.

*****

In many ways that discussion felt surreal and I have this feeling that when she really is old enough I am going to look at her and remember this moment. That might not be so good for the boys. If all goes according to plan when I meet them it will be in my study. I’ll show them a picture of the desert and casually mention that I own that piece of property, a gun and a shovel.

And then that girl of mine will kill me. Not literally of course but I probably shouldn’t do the old desert, shovel and gun bit with them.  Sigh, these kids of ours grow up far too quickly.

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17 Comments

  1. Bruce Sallan February 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Boy, am I glad I only had BOYS! I’d have a cow with that conversation! Good handling, JB!

  2. Elena Patrice February 18, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Hi Jack!

    What a great post! Ahh … little girls, all sugar and spice! 🙂

    Your dark-haired beauty is one blessed beauty indeed! You wrote one thing that is absolute key Jack, “But that doesn’t mean that I am not building a foundation for her.” I talk about this all the time as a parent, especially as a single parent. Life is going to be tough, but the ground our children stand on will make ALL the difference. And what a challenge that is!

    My sweet Eve, who just turned 6, makes me laugh because she asks if she can live with me forever and doesn’t want to have a baby because that would me she would have to be with someone else. I laugh and tell her I hope she remembers this conversation when she’s in her teens when all the sudden I’m the devil to her. 😉 Then she gets mad at me. She too much like me!

    • Jack February 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Elena,

      Your story about Eve makes me smile. My son still insists that he’ll want to live with me too when he is older and I laugh.

      You can’t screw an old head on young shoulders.

  3. Alison February 18, 2012 at 12:36 am

    If we had girls, my husband would be telling them they could MAYBE date when they’re 150 🙂

  4. Hajra February 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Daddies and daughters; is there anything more lovelier. I am 26 and my dad gets all possessive even now! I can imagine 🙂

  5. LaRae Quy February 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Oh yeh, a piece of desert and a shovel . . . that should do the trick 🙂

    • Jack February 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      If I had a badge I’d tell them that the Bureau provides me with the ability to send them to Gitmo for misbehaving.

      Probably against FBI regulations, but this is my kid we are talking about. 😉

      When the time comes I am pretty certain that she’ll be perfectly fine, but a father who doesn’t worry isn’t doing his job now is he. 😉

  6. Morris February 17, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I discovered you on Paul’s ‘spon’ site.
    That’s a good story, Jack. Always be there, even when you are 117.
    Best wishes.

    • Jack February 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Hi Morris,

      Being there is really important to me. I don’t want my kids to ever wonder or worry about my support.

      It is something that I want them to see as a constant.

  7. Jens P. Berget February 17, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I haven’t had a similar talk with my daughter yet, but she’s eight, turning nine i September, and I know the talk will come soon. I’m not ready, not at all, and I understand that I’ll probably never be ready for it. I’m not sure why, because it’s completely different with my five year old son 🙂

    • Jack February 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Hey Jens,

      Daughters are different, not better or worse, just different.

      They are certainly no less capable than our sons but they just affect us in different ways I guess.

  8. Gina February 17, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Don’t blink. The time goes very fast then you’re off visiting them in college and you wish they were still asking you those crazy, simple questions.

    Keep talking with her and being the dad you seem to be and she will make great decisions when she is “old” enough…however, expect just a few small mistakes along the way.

    • Jack February 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Gina,

      I understand that. She was born yesterday the next thing I knew she was running around the house telling me what to do.

      Can’t imagine visiting her in college, but I am sure that will happen. In the interim I am having way too much fun with her.

      She has already proven to be far smarter than I am.

  9. Betsy Cross February 17, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Fun! All little girls need a dad like that. I never understood why I didn’t date in high school until a friend told me as an adult that my dad threatened his whole hockey team with personal damage if they came anywhere near me. LOL! Can you imagine my relief when I learned that? In a way I was mad at my dad for being a part in my self-esteem demise. But he was also my hero. You know?
    Thanks, Jack!

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