July 23, 2005

Learn To Live With What You Can't Rise Above

"Learn To Live With What You Can't Rise Above" is a riff from Springsteen's song Tunnel of Love. It is one of my favorites because he does such a good job of painting a picture. It drives me into thoughts about the past and the present, takes me to places I haven't been for a while. I dig that kind of stuff.

As a native of California it almost always makes me think of the beach. I close my eyes and I can hear them, those girls from the past juxtaposed with the present. So many good memories that helped to make me who I am today. And at the same time I think about the memories that I am going to create. Wild stuff.

My daughter turned a year today. The princess is officially twelve months old and my head is spinning. Today I sat her down on my lap and explained again that I am her daddy and that my job is to keep her safe and help her grow into a beautiful woman on character and integrity.

For a moment I felt a twinge because I had included 'beautiful' in my description of who I wanted her to become. It felt a little superficial to focus on that, but at the same time the reality is that women and beauty are tied in together. It may not be good or nice, but beautiful women have an easier time and I want good things for my daughter.

I explained to her that even though she is gorgeous she has to work hard every day and that she must always use her brain, every day is a day for learning. While we were having our talk some boy tried to get her attention. He was 11 months, so I told him to get lost for the next 35 years. He can come back when he has an education and a decent job. That scamp put his hand on my daughter's leg and then she let him have it, gave him a decent tug and almost came away with some hair.

Her grandmother complained to me that if I continue this behavior no boys are going to want to be friendly and I smiled. Think of the Cheshire Cat and you can see my grin. Grandma tried to remind me that I didn't like it when the fathers were tough on me and I told her that it didn't matter and that I always found a way around them.

After saying "DOH!" and experiencing a brief moment of foolishness as I remembered how motivating hormones could be I grabbed her older brother and reminded him that he is training, always in training to serve as her bodyguard. Other boys must be stopped.

Ok, I didn't say that, but I did mutter "I am doomed" two or three times. Daughters, daughters, daughters. By the time she gets old enough to date I am going to have to suffer a mental lapse and forget every experience/thought I had with women that wasn't related to education, cleaning or some other nondescript thing that will not remind me that some boy on hormonal overdrive is leering at my daughter.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl, your daddy loves you.

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