I have two daughter, Elli, aged 8 and Katy, aged 6. I cannot express the depths of my love for them. After all these years it’s still a mystery to me how I can possibly love them more – and yet I do.---
One glorious summer afternoon I told Elli, “I wish you wouldn’t grow up so fast.” She smiled and said, “That happens to us all, Daddy.” I can think of no other word so beautiful on her lips than Daddy, unless of course it’s love -- bracketed by I and you.
Of late I have been thinking about my children's future and the choices they will make in future partners. Perhaps it's from working on next week's CW cover story about Utah's domestic violence community. Or perhaps it was from watching the first episode of Showtime’s costumed soft porn show, The Tudors. It’s a desultory, mind-numbing experience. When a duke discovers one of Henry VIII’s friends having graphic sex with the duke’s daughter, he all but kills him.
That gratuitously tasteless scene - the entire show is a misogynist's dream - reminded me of a good friend’s story about visiting the house of his then-girlfriend and now wife. His future father-in-law showed him his gun collection. “This one,” the father said, pointing at a handgun, “I can get you from 20 yards, this one from 50, this one will drop you from a quarter of a mile.”
I know that the best defense I can provide my children is a loving upbringing. Judging by their personalties, they already have strong heads on their shoulders and quick wits.
And yet I can’t help but worry, can’t help but wish the days of them growing up would stop rushing past me, dolled out though they may be in hugs and kisses.
I treasure these years with them, if only because I know they will end. Boys’ names occasionally drift into our conversations. Unwelcome intruders, I scoot them away. But for how long, I wonder, how long?