Every Dad who has raised is raising a daughter faces that frightful day when he is at least aware of his daughter as a sexual being. Puberty comes (too frackin' soon if you ask me!) and then it's boys, who's "Hot!" usually followed by high pitched screeching and low-level confessions of undying adulation. (sigh)
As of the writing of this blog post, my daughter is infatuated with the singing/dancing Canadian boy teen super-star, Justin Bieber. This spiky-haired soft-faced boy-phenom has captured the hearts, charts and imagination of the world. Love him or not, he's here to say.
I remember the lessons of generations past, the parents generation loathes anything that isn't "theirs". I chose a different route. I have chosen to embrace him. Yes, I have become a member of "Bieber nation". Laugh if you want, he's go all the money (sold out Madison Square Garden in 26 minutes!), all the girls (undying love and propositions from Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez), all the fame (Justin Timberlake and Usher duked it out over who would mentor him) he's worth and estimated $100 Million and he's 17. (I see a VH1 "Behind the music" episode in the making but that's a different blog).
Now recently, in a round of harmless teasing, my oldest son tried to corner me on this topic; "Hey Dad, if just Bieber wanted to come by and take Jessica on a date, would you let him?" All four kids look at me to see if I would do the customary "Hell No!" response. Instead I said "Duh! That's a no-brainer – of course!" Jessica explodes into a series of giddy giggles and jerky movements and incomprehensible uttering. The boys are dumbfounded. Really? Think about it; the Paparazzi? $105 Million (yes, he just made about $5 million since I wrote the number above about three minutes ago)? I'm realistic, it is highly unlikely that JB is headed to downtown Phoenix to sweep Jessica off her feet. That said, if he's interested, (and if you're reading buddy) I approve – big fan! – but let's have a chat first, eh?
I have digressed quite a bit from my primary topic so let's get back. Jessica, now months away from being 15 is a beautiful young girl. She is spiritually grounded and is very creative (has aspirations of going to Art School). But those aren't the qualities that will make her irresistible to boys and later on, male suitors.
To start, she kicks butt at HALO on XBOX 360. She plays Call of Duty, Fallout 3 and Final Fantasy. Don't know about these games? I GUARANTEE YOU every 15 year old boy does. She has three younger brothers, she has no misunderstandings about the, uh... inner machinations... of boys (she holds her own against a younger brother who has her by 60 pounds, easy). She knows Photoshop better than some people trying to make money at it and she loves Vampire books and movies. What else? Well Dad is an old-time comic book fiend. Do you know who Sinestro is? How about Ms. Marvel? The founding members of the Avengers? She does. She knows and plays hoops. She follows Patriots football and loves hockey. Yet, at any given time she can toss on some heels and make-up with a dress and a necklace and look – well – mature beyond her years. She can carry a note and has bright-eyed imagination that empowers her creativity. A voracious reader yet still gives me flak for not taking her and her brothers to church on Sundays when I would rather roll over and the hit snooze button.
Music? Down with Hip hop, Motown, R&B and Hard Rock. She knows every_single_song_on_every_single_station. No joke. In short, she is the ideal girlfriend for scores of guys. (sigh) I mean, seriously? When I was 15 I would have killed for a hot girlfriend that could hold her own in video games, sports and music. Artistic, a decent little cook and can carry on a conversation about movies, current TV shows, art, comic books and video games? My phone should be blowing up anytime now.
Don't get me wrong, she has her shortcomings (seriously could we please clean that room now?) and she has her own insecurities and struggles with grades, etc.
Last fall, I took Jessica [back] to Massachusetts where she was able to see and meet many of my old friends and stomping grounds. We even had lunch one afternoon with Deena, essentially my little sister (yes I am only child but have two women who are little sisters in spirit). 20 minutes and Deena looks across the table at me and say "Atha [New England accent] she's gorgeous... and you're screwed!" (sigh)
Rest assured, mounted infra-red machine gun turrets will be stationed at all access points to my home by the fall. Also, all three boys will be undergoing para-military training. All non-related males will need to fill out background check forms, in triplicate and will be shadowed by family members or family-loyal agents at all times. I'm thinking, after college, she will be considered for limited exposure to non-family, pre-approved males.
Yeah, that will work... wait! Why are you all laughing? I'm a "boys", I know what boys are thinking... always! Danger Will Robinson! Danger! I mean it – No boys! Why are you all shaking your head and grinning... ?