Being the Dad for three wonderful daughters has certainly been an experience. When men discover that my children are all girls with no boys, I get a range of responses. On one extreme, are those who wonder how I can manage living in a household of women. That must be really tough with no other men in the house. On the other extreme, are those who are envious. Wow, you must be treated like a “King” in your house….being waited upon constantly with every need and want being met extravagantly! Both perspectives are perhaps more representative of the particular man’s view of the world than reality. In most cases, they have not experienced living only with women in their home, they can only imagine.
My experience with only ladies in my home, of course, was not planned. Our daughters were God’s gifts to my wife and I and we treasure them greatly. (Psalm 127:3) But experience on my part in coming into this inheritance was not something I possessed. You see, I grew up in a family of seven members and only one was female. My Mother! Growing up with four brothers was a world of “snips and snails and puppy dog tails”. That is what little boys are made of…..and we were the regular garden variety type boys. Wrestling, playing “cowboys and Indians”, army, baseball, football; you name it, we played it. Burning energy and consuming potatoes by the gunny sack composed our days. My mother learned how to make boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, American fries, fried potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and French fries. We raised potatoes on the farm and they were an inexpensive means of filling the stomachs of five hungry boys. My mother was extraordinary in not only finding creative ways to keep us all fed, she managed to keep us clothed with patches on our jeans. Jeans that were continually needing repair following the latest backyard football game or jumping off the chicken coop.
So moving from a man’s world into the world of “sugar and spice and everything nice,” was indeed a change from my experience. No history of growing up with sisters on a daily basis. No opportunity to learn about what the priorities might be for one who is made quite different than me. God, however, took all of that in to account. Contrary to the belief of some, God didn’t make a new species when he made girls. He took the rib, remember, out of man (Genesis 2:21) and made a woman. A little different, yes, but not an alien. So, we’re closer than you think! And yet, there is still a gap to be bridged. But it’s not a “bridge too far,” it just takes initiative. A desire to understand, to participate and to love. Those are my intentions with my daughters; to seek to understand, to be with them and to love them. To be there for them. I must admit that I have not mastered these…..I’m still a work in progress. It’s a lifelong journey and an adventure with bumps along the way.
Being a Dad of daughters is a privilege that I would not trade. I learned some things from my mother through the years on how she managed to live in a household of men. She lived where we lived, in the world of trucks & cars and football games. When we watched football games on Sunday afternoons, she watched them with us. Following the football game, we would go out to play a backyard game imagining we were our favorite pro football players. My brothers and I were quite competitive and each of us selected a different pro football team. My team was the Minnesota Vikings. My mother just turned 86 this past week and she still loves to watch football games. The Green Bay Packers happen to be one of her favorite teams. She loved being with her boys and it still carries on. May that lesson never fade for me…..