As the father of a 16-year old girl, I’m trying to adapt to new standards of parenting. It used to be so easy, feeding her, changing her diapers and making sure she didn’t swallow a paper clip. Now that she’s grown up, the rules have changed. I can’t watch her all the time, and the dangers she faces are more worrisome. And like most 16-year olds, she thinks she knows everything, and her parents are retarded.
She feeds herself now, and given the choice, she eats junk. OK, I ate junk at that age also, but this isn’t about me, OK?
I never liked all the frilly clothing covered with little pictures of bunny rabbits that babies are forced to wear, but I don’t like the stuff she chooses to wear these days either. Yeah, I wore stuff at that age that I hope nobody has pictures of me wearing, but once again, that’s off the subject.
She’s almost stopped putting paper clips in her mouth, but I’m more worried that she’ll swallow the lines of crap that horny 16-year old boys try to tell her. Boys will say anything, because there are millions of girls out there and sooner or later, one of them will believe it. I can only hope it isn’t her.
So we were joking around the other day, threatening to put her into an all-girls school. She was playing along, reacting in mock horror at the prospect, and then she said, “If you did that, I would go concubine.”
There was a really long, uncomfortable silence.
“Do you mean ‘Columbine?’” I asked, hopefully.
“Yeah,” she replied, “That school in Colorado where those guys shot everybody.”
I explained what a concubine was, and we all had a good laugh about it. But I confess to huge wave of relief washing over me, knowing that my daughter would rather be a mass murderer than some second-class sex toy. These days, it’s about all I can hope for.