I got a text message from my wife last week while I was in New York on business.
It contained a picture of my five-year-old daughter wearing eye shadow for the first time. Her cousin applied it while they were at their house for a visit.
My response to my wife: Remove it immediately.
I was only half-joking.
As I typed the response, I thought about the running joke between me and my friend (who has three daughters to my two) where we buy a shotgun to share, letting each other borrow it when our daughters go on their first dates.
(Imagine being the guy who picks up one of our daughters, only to find the dad polishing a lethal weapon on the couch.)
As I looked at the picture of my daughter, suddenly she wasn’t five going on six. She was five going on sixteen. And all of these thoughts about dating and boys and danger that I’ve been trying really hard not to think about came flooding in my head.
Where’s the nearest armory?
I’m of the opinion that it’s easier to raise girls (over boys) when they’re little. They’re cleaner. They love their dads. They seem to grasp ideas and concepts quicker.
But as they get older, that starts to change. Clothes become more important. They’re judged on their looks. Boys start to ogle them.
All things I’d rather not think about right now. And as the father of a five-year-old, can you blame me?
Raising a girl in a rapidly shifting world will be hard enough for me, let alone for her as she grows up in it.
So let me have a few more years alone with my little girl before she grows up right before my eyes.
It’s all I ask.