I shall sleep easy this Spring. Next year may be different.
My daughter is 14 and in the 8th grade. Too young for the prom. But she’s also beautiful, talented and hella-awesome.
Now she flies below the radar. Next year may be different.
Though my fingers are crossed that we can push back dating and the prom, indefinitely, I am coming to terms with the fact that one day soon, she will leave the house with a…boy.
We all know what that means. Now, she’s a sweet, respectful girl who tries not to curse and awkwardly averts her eyes when people kiss on TV. After her first date she will transform into one of those girls that talk loud in the food court at the Mall. She will roll her eyes and smack on gum, and slam doors.
First she’ll end up on Maury, then Judge Mathis and then, God Forbid, Love and Hip Hop, Atlanta.
And she’ll be dirty, because adolescent onset cooties are real to fathers of teenaged daughters. They are a socially transmitted disease that girls get from dating boys. Any touch, be it hand holding or footsy or, God forbid, a stinky breathed kiss – FACT: all teenaged boys have breath that smells like Axe body spray and Funions – may cause adolescent onset cooties. Hell, even the idea of touch is enough to make the average father want to sew his daughter into a HazMat suit.
Notice there was no mention of sex. “Sex”. There, it was mentioned. Moving on…
Teenaged girls are hard on Daddys, and Step Daddys.
So I understand these pictures. They are the embodiment of the intersection between parental anxiety and gun culture. Man’s futile attempt to show control over the tsunami that is teenaged hormones. They are also grotesque.
America tells us that guns solve everything, even sex. I mean, why not? If a pump shotgun will make a man think twice before he robs your gas station, shouldn’t it keep a 17-year-old jock from putting his sweaty hands on your innocent little girl? Nope.
If it was that easy, you might see me in a year or two, holding a gun while my step daughter silently wishes that I would cease to exist. Because nothing says, “I trust you, and I’m confident that I raised you with enough tools to not do anything dumb…” like me, her date and an AR-15.
But it won’t keep him from putting his hands on her because, maybe she wants his hands on her. (Throwing up in my mouth.)
Ultimately, you get a certain number of years to get parenting right. After that, he or she has to figure it out. So don’t take pictures with your daughter, her date and your favorite firearm. It’s probably going to be okay. And if it isn’t, this isn’t one of those problems that guns can solve.