All things considered, my brother and I have always been good friends. Growing up there were typical brotherly moments, of course, the kind where I usually got in trouble for not including him or wanting him to go away. But over time, once we got past that stage, we did the sorts of things together that you more or less expect a couple of guys to do. We played with action figures, we played baseball in the backyard, we talked about girls.
Things haven't changed a whole lot through the years. Nowadays, we still talk about girls except, you know, they're our wives. We exchange texts regarding the latest escapades of Michigan's football and basketball teams if we're not watching them together in person. We even still play sports together, except now it's usually because Coffeeson (and eventually Coffeenephew once he gets his motor skills down) wants to.
This is what I've always known. When I had a son, that was right in my wheelhouse. It'd be like when I was growing up with a brother, with obvious adjustments.
We now know that there is going to be a Coffeedaughter. And as I ponder that, I find myself in uncharted territory. I don't take this as bad by any means; I'm actually very excited about this news. But for me personally, I'll be venturing into a world I don't know very well. Coffeewife has already been talking about dresses and bows and other things that make me say, "WHAT IS THIS MAGIC?"
I don't mean to stereotype here. I don't anticipate that we're locked into a world of pink and Barbies and tea parties. Maybe she'll be a softball player or (God willing) a drummer. Regardless of particular tastes and direction in forming her identity, she will by definition have Girl Issues. And I could just defer to Coffeewife on these things, but it won't be that simple. Plus Coffeewife, who only had sisters growing up, is doing just fine with Coffeeson, so there's no reason to think I'm going to be completely incompetent at this. But I'm sure there'll be times when I feel that way anyway. That's normal for parents.
Will I be the typical overprotective father, the one who happens to be cleaning his gun on the front porch when her prom date arrives to pick her up? Yes and no. I don't have a gun, so that specific image won't apply. However, I do have very intimate knowledge of the mind of the teenage boy, and it is a frightening, confused place. So I'll definitely worry and do my best to help her make good choices. I've also remarked to Coffeewife numerous times that she'll have me wrapped around her finger; she will truly be Daddy's Little Girl. Oh yeah, it's gonna be bad. But Daddy's Little Girl deserves certain treatment from others, and I'll need first to teach her to treat herself well.
And the drums. I'm gonna teach her the drums.
So, we barrel toward what for me is a bit of an unknown future. Just like with the first one, I'll learn as I go. It'll be fun. And a little terrifying. But also fun.