About four years ago, my wife and I decided that we wanted to have a child. We did all the things that you’re supposed to do when getting ready for pregnancy (pre-natal vitamins, plenty of practice, etc) and were pregnant a short time later. One of the many things we discussed was that we did not want to know the sex of the baby prior to birth.
For us, not knowing the sex was much easier than expected. We bought gender neutral baby items and planned accordingly. Some of our friends, on the other hand, were a giant pain in the ass about it (to put it mildly). We never wavered and went through the entire pregnancy without knowing.
To be completely honest, I didn’t need some doctor to tell me I was having anything other than a boy. I mean, c’mon, how could a man such as myself produce anything other than a big, strong, mini-man? As the pregnancy progressed, I visualized all of the cool things I would do with my boy.
When the time came, my wife and I headed over to the hospital for delivery. I did my best to avoid looking at any messy places and my wife was amazing through it all. When our child popped out, the doctor announced that we had a beautiful baby girl. I was thrilled to be a father.
As the doctor and nurses shuffled around the room, my daughter rested on her mother’s chest, a feeling of absolute fear crept over me. I had a little girl. What in the world was I going to do with a little girl? I never gave any though to being a good father to a little girl. I wasn’t prepared!
Over the past three years I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what gender my child is. I strive to be a good father and don’t give much thought to ‘treating her like a girl’. We do things that are fun. Sometimes we wind up playing in the dirt and other times I wind up with purple butterfly barrettes in my hair.
This year, things have been very hard for us. We were forced to take our daughter out of daycare and make financial adjustments to get by. While eliminating daycare would save us a small fortune, I hated the idea of my daughter being taken away from her friends in school. Despite looking at all of our options, we had to pull the plug.
Over the past few months my wife has been concerned that our daughter doesn’t get to socialize enough with kids her own age. With only older cousins and friends to play with, my wife began looking into options for dance class. It would get our daughter around kids her age, once per week, and wasn’t very expensive. She loves to dance around the house, so this seemed like a great idea.
My wife got our daughter enrolled and took her to her very first class. Being very shy, things were slow going. When the music came on and class was ready to begin, my daughter ran to her mother and cried. She wanted no part of dance class and told us as much.
That night, I sat down with our daughter and she told me all about it (I wasn’t able to make the class). She didn’t like it and didn’t want to go back. Before running off to play, she turned to me and said ‘Daddy, I don’t like dance class. I want to be a hunter just like you”. At that moment I was beaming with pride. I told her that I wanted her to go to one more class. If she still didn’t like it, she didn’t have to go anymore and we would spend more time with archery.
My wife tells me that maybe our next daughter will be a girly girly but in the meantime, we’re happy our daughter is so excited. Anytime I mention the archery club her face lights up. Now all I have to do is find a youth archery program that will accept a 3 year old (the minimum age seems to be 5).
If I strike out with a youth archery program, I guess I’ll just have to setup a walking course in our front yard. I hope the neighbors don’t take offense to paper animals being shot at with a bow and arrow.