This morning, my daughter broke down and bawled in my arms.
She hugged me harder than anyone ever has, as her tears soaked my shirt. I asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I don’t know. I’m not unhappy or anything.” Confused, she let out a tear-muffled laugh. She doesn’t know that her body is storing up hormones that will make her nuts. She doesn’t know that she is growing up right before my eyes and that I am scared to death.
I squeezed her in my arms as if I was holding on for dear life. My wife came in to see what was up. I waived her off, not wanting to share this moment when my daughter needed her dad’s shoulder to soak up her tears. It probably won’t be my last chance, but I couldn’t let her go.
My heart breaks because, no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to stop bad things from happening to those we love….and unsolicited hormone rushes in pre-teen girls are awful. I felt helpless and needed all at the same time. I felt like Holden Caulfield, trying to erase all the f–k you’s in the world…to no avail.
I have 3 older sisters, so I am KEENLY aware of how nutty teenage girls can be. But, I don’t remember Amy being that crazy when she was 9. I guess I was too busy killing invading aliens on my Atari to notice. I notice now, and it really sucks.
I think I am lucky to be a guy. Sure, some of my sisters’ attributes have rubbed off on me: I know who Laura Ashley is, I know not to wear seersucker after Labor Day, and I know how to braid hair, but I am very thankful that their hormones never rubbed off on me.
Y’all have it bad.