Life is full of ironic situations. Like that time as a high school freshman where I was too cool for school with this one girl who had a crush on me. I had no time for her and her goofy smile. Turns out that by Senior year she became captain of the cheerleaders, had fully ‘developed’ and was riding around in her BMW 325i ……convertible! I’ll let you guess who had no time for me that year.
So we learn from our lessons and move on. Or so we hope. The truth is life is all about learning lessons. You grow by learning, and if you’re not learning you’re dying. The problem I face as a dad is accepting this truth as it applies to my kids. More specifically, the idea of my daughter growing up and learning about life and ‘the birds and the bees’.
As with most things in life, little failures prepare you and position you to avoid the one, big failure down the road. I feel this model holds true with regards to sex and sexuality. No one is a Casanova out the gate. We all experience our awkward and embarrassing moments, and it is these lessons learned that allow us to avoid bigger pains in the future. The dilemma I face is, “Will I ever be ready to guide my daughter through this stage?”
“!!!!!LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!!!! I’m not listening to myself! I’m can’t hear me!” If I ignore the concept long enough, it will all go away, right? Please tell me I don’t ever have to talk to my daughter about sex. Please tell me she will, in all her life, have relations with only one man! Please tell me that by the time she grows up, science will have advanced to allow for routine virginal pregnancies! Please tell me……..
As much as I hate to admit it, the more I try to shelter my daughter down the road, the more harm I will be causing her as she grows up. That’s the irony about sexual development. The more we try to ‘protect’ our kids from the ugly realities of our bodies and physical feelings, the more damage we are causing to them and society. I mean, it’s a common rule of thumb that the loosest girls are the ones whose mommies and daddies don’t allow them to do anything. The ones who can’t and don’t have frank and candid conversations with their parents. The ones who are warned about the evils of sex and the sinfulness of lust.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying I need to go all Berkley-granola on my kids. Even I have my limits. But I do realize and accept that as my daughter grows up, she will take an interest in sex and her sexuality. She will have questions and feelings and desires. She will be curious about herself and …… ahem …. others. And I believe that in order for her to find long term happiness with that special someone, she will have to have experienced short term heartache with several others.
It pains me to admit it – and I don’t think I will ever be truly ready to accept it – but life is just ironic that way.