"Girl Stuff", Old Age, and Me (TMI, at least for Shodan)

Depression, pride, and a sort of bittersweet joy, all in one go. Thanks, I guess, sweetie.

I could handle it when my darling daughter started wearing a bra.

I could handle it when she has two Instant Messenger windows going at the same time, chatting with two different boys at the same time.

I could handle it when she and her friends spend hours discussing which picture of Legolas in her scrapbook makes Orlando Bloom look the hottest.

I could even handle it when she told me that a boy in her class who moved a thousand miles away is sending her e-mails declaring his undying love for her.

I didn’t handle it well, but I handled it.

What I cannot handle is for my darling daughter to march into my office at home while I am fretting over the logic of a match/merge I am trying to implement, to drop a bombshell on me.

“Daddy, it’s kind of a girl thing, but I can tell you. I just got my period.”

No, I did not fall to the floor weeping. No, I did not run from the room screaming with my fingers in my ears. I managed to congratulate her, and hug her, and make sure she is all set up with Feminine Hygiene Products Too Terrible to Mention.

It’s not like she is not prepared. She has had The Talk with her mother. She has had The Talk at school. She is neither the first nor the last of her friends to experience the joys of womanhood, and she was the calmest one in the room when she made her announcement.

No, the unprepared one was me.

Yes, I knew this had to happen eventually. It is like the shock I experienced when I found that I could no longer lift her effortlessly when I hugged her, or when she legitimately beat me at checkers, or started a conversation over the dinner table about something she read in the newspaper. My little girl is little no longer, and she never will be again.

Another long step has been taken on that parabola that leads her out of my house, and out from under my protection, and out into that big mean nasty world filled with teen-age boys and other uncivilized scum. And, sure as day follows night, she will pick out one piece of scum, and marry him, and bend him to her inexorable will as she has bent me. And I won’t get to hear her voice at the dinner table, informing me of everything that happened to her today, and what she thought about everything that happened to her, and what her friends thought about what she thought, and what she thought about what they thought. I’ll just be that old guy who spoils her kids rotten and tells them embarassing stories about the funny stuff Mommy did when she was little.

And who remembers what their Mommy was like, when she was still my little girl. Because I love the beautiful young woman that she has become.

But I will never forget my little girl. Even if she is gone forever.


was beautiful.


You made my cry, Shodan! Darn you!

I don’t think my dad noticed I wasn’t 8 anymore until I moved out of the house at 17.

Aw, bless.


I’m calling my Daddy. Right now.


Whew, I’m glad my three year old is never ever ever ever ever going to grow up.

That was beautiful, Shodan. Your daughter is a lucky girl.

And you’re a lucky guy, too, that she feels so comfortable with you that she can talk about the most personal girly stuff there is. My dad and I have that sort of relationship, and the older I get the more I realize how rare it is. No matter what, I can talk to my father about anything. May your daughter always feel the same.

Oh, Shodan. That was truly lovely and your daughter is a very lucky girl. Can I suggest you hang on to what you’ve written? It’s beautiful, and particularly resonant with me because I’m close to my dad, too.

He’s in the kitchen, making coffee, and wanting to know if I want some. I think I may get off the computer and go and have a chat with him. You’ve inspired me. :slight_smile:

B E Autiful.

She’s still your little girl, though she won’t admit it for several more years. Really. :slight_smile:

My dad has never talked about this with me… but he bought my “supplies” until I graduated from college. Kept a storehouse in my old bedroom closet and everytime I’d come home, there they’d be. Like a present from the Fertility Fairy. :smiley: But he never said anything about them to me, just every time he and Mom would go shopping he’d put a box in the shopping cart. Weird, I know, but very sweet. His way of taking care of me, I guess.

That was really beautiful, Shodan.

I was pretty much raised sans father figure. Now that I’m older, I often wonder, if/when I have kids how I’ll handle having a partner to raise them with (pretty much not knowing what it is that dads do).

I think I’ll print out a copy of your post as a reminder of what good, cool dads are like. Thanks.

Geez…when I was a kid, if anyone even uttered the word “period” within two blocks of a male, they’d have to throw themselves off a bridge into a rapidly moving river. Kids today…

Tell her to wrap the tubes up real good so the dog doesn’t fish 'em out of the garbage and drop them in front of her boyfriends.

Trust me, a Daddy’s little girl is always her daddy’s little girl in her heart, no matter how old she gets. She might go through a few years of not wanting to admit it, but that will pass. She may move thousands of miles away, marry, and have children of her own, but you will always, always rule a big chunk of her heart.

CrazyCatLady, Daddy’s girl who’s pushing 30

That was truly touching Shodan. My father and I were never really close until I moved away from home and we both realized how much we meant to each other. Your daughter will always be you little girl, whether she wants to admit or not.


That was beautiful, but your little girl is still there, albeit in different form.

Our firstborn is now 19 and living at college an hour away.

Guess who she called when her car broke down? Yep, her daddy.

Guess who she comes to with boy problems? Yep, her mommy.

And guess who still gets up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning?

Yep, she is still our little girl.

My father and I don’t get along very well, simply because we have VERY different personalities and views on things, and it was rough when I was a teenager. But I knew he was always there for me, and I love him for it. Because his job allows him to be home most of the winter (but VERY busy in the summer) and my mom would leave for work earlier than we would go to school, it wasn’t uncommon for my sister or me to desperately force him to run to the pharmacy or Wal-Mart and buy a box of pads or tampons because the other sibling had managed to finish the last box and our periods were starting RIGHT NOW! (It wasn’t long til I kept my things in my room, but sis STILL managed to desperately borrow/steal some until Dad could come back from the store!)

In fact, my dad was there the day I got my period. I was at home, just got up for school, go into the washroom, and :eek: !! I think he handled it well - he went straight to the phone, called my mom at work, and asked her what he should do! Since my mom had had a hysterectomy many years before, it was pure luck that we happened to have pads in the house from when my aunt had come to visit.

Just wait til she asks you to take her to the doctor for birth control. Shodan! :smiley: I still don’t think my dad has accepted that one, though I’ve been LIVING with my SO for 2.5 years. He does occasionally say “I’m proud of you” and I know that he’s thinking about how I’ve handled school and my relationship, but the actual SUBJECT of the Pill and sex? Forget about it!

The Walk

While visiting the folks farm on a cool spring day,
Traces of snow still melting on the brown leaf-laden earth,
We went for a walk, my daughter and I,
Along the old path that once was a logging road.

The new green buds were on the trees, shiny new linings
On every branch, and she trotted ahead, eager for
The adventure of where our walk may take us that day.
She ran ahead, but never out of sight.

I had to lift her through the pricker-brush. I had worn
Old jeans and boots for the occasion. And as we
Started up the hill, our pace slowed, and she held my hand.
How small she seemed; how large she must think me.

A small brook, fresh from melting snow, ran across our
Path, through these old woods and my daughter tried
To jump it, all alone. I put my hand on her back, lightly,
So she didn’t notice, to steady her landing on the wet rocks.

I am reluctant to add, that I slowed before she did, and asked
Her to go back. She hollered, my daddy, hurry, lets go, more
As I carried her on my back. She was surprised how far we had
Come, and expected the house behind every corner. But I knew.

That fresh spring is in my mind still. And sap still stains my coat.
I wonder if there are days that she thinks of it – I think probably so.
One day soon, she will tell the tale of her proud jump and run. And
It will no longer be my story to tell, but hers alone.

-W. Shedd