Of the best words a father can ever hear is, ‘It’s a girl!’
In a study done at Harvard Business School, they found that having a daughter can make men better husbands and even help them live longer. It was found that dads with daughters spent about 60 per cent more time responding attentively to their girls than they did to their boys.
In Behavioural Neuroscience, researchers discovered that fathers spend five times longer singing to their daughters. The psychotherapist Phillip Hodson explains, ‘As a male, you have to learn a different script when you have a daughter. Girls push a different set of buttons in a man.’
Psychologist Emma Citron says, ‘A daughter teaches a man about what it means to be a girl in a way that a sibling, wife or mother doesn’t.’ Citron continues to say, ‘ Even if you’re in a relationship with a woman, it’s not the same as having a vulnerable little girl who relies on you for everything. When a man becomes a father to a girl, he learns much more about what it means to be a woman.’
With a son, fathers tend to want to re-create themselves — a ‘mini-me.’ But with a daughter, a man must have a different perspective. He must challenge the male norms and traits he has been brought up with.
Two years after my Son was born, my ex-wife and I found out we were having another baby. We had again elected not to know the sex of our baby. I had fervently discredited the possibility of having a boy as my first child and I was wrong. Now there was a possibility of having a ‘pigeon pair,’ boy and girl. Could I be so blessed?
This time, I believed it.
My ex-wife believed we were having another boy, I said defiantly, ‘It’s a girl.’ In 1990 Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Four years later in April 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections. On the morning of the 16th of March, a little over a month before the elections, my ex-wife and I were in a theatre of the same hospital where my Son was born. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, my ex-wife had to have a caesarean section and go under general anaesthetic.
I remember that morning, it was a typical March day on the Highveld with clear blue skies. There was a stream of sunlight through a window facing East, that made the theatre feel cheerful. The surgeons, doctors, anaesthetists, and surgical staff all dressed in their theatre garb, were also in high spirits. I heard the song by John Lennon playing in the background on a radio.
I said to them all, ‘See, it’s going to be a girl!’
When my Son was born, he never cried or even let out so much as a peep for the first few hours of his life. My Daughter made her arrival well known to the world from her first breath. I shouted out to my still sleeping ex-wife, ‘ You owe me a hundred bucks, it’s a girl!’
From the instant she was born, I was mush. I knew I am going to make sure she stays a fighter. As a girl, she is going to need to be.
My relationship with my daughter can be summed up in what she and I refer to her as, Daddy’s Princess. We are soul mates with a deep appreciation and love for one another. By ‘allowing’ her to remain somewhat feisty and defiantly independent, my daughter has grown into a beautiful, balanced, level-headed woman with a depth of character you don’t find often.
Due to her caring nature, children are naturally drawn to my Daughter. Her patience and love for children are enviable. Since she became an Aunt for the first time, my grandson and she have a loving bond like no other.
My daughter has taught me to be a better man. She has made me want to be a better man. Being around her my whole life, I am fortunate to have learned more from her than she from me. Many see my Daughter as the confident, happy, kind, loving, empathetic, deep soul that she is.
I see beautiful people.
Have an awesome weekend, stay home, stay safe! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
Originally published at https://www.leapfirst.co.za on July 11, 2020.