It is probably a primal urge that urges fathers, like me, to protect our daughters at all costs. Our lives lose every measure of their worth when we consider our daughters’ safety. We make lame jokes about shotguns and boyfriends but, in reality, it’s no laughing matter.
Our girls are at risk. Now, probably more than ever. The statistics speak volumes.
I am often afraid for my girls: for the things they may witness; for the abuse they might one day endure, for the defining sadness that unfortunate experience might just etch on their existence. They are vulnerable and I want to ward off the enemy.
I also recognise their strength: that being women does not make them weak. These beautiful girls of mine will impact their world. Each in their own way. Mikaela will help people, I’m sure: her empathy runs deep. Gemma will, no doubt, inspire others: she has a creative spark ready to fan into flame. Emily will bring happiness and joy to all she meets: I know this because that is all she has done since her birth, days shy of two years back.
They will stand on their own. A husband – should they choose to take one – will be a partner: he will not define who they are or who they will become. They will have a voice: something that will grow because Yolanda and I will listen. They will know their giftedness and calling: we will nurture the freedom required for discovery of these.
But for a Dad, like me, all this is a delicate balancing act: my desire (and calling) to protect them balanced by their right to be strong, influential individuals in their own right.