Posted by Len Ramirez, Total Teen Dad | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 30-04-2010
Tags: first dates, Milestones, princesses, single father, teenagers
In my blogs, I try to write about the challenges that come with being a single dad of teenagers. Sometimes, when certain life situations happen, like dating, it’s important to have someone else to bounce your ideas off of. It’s one of those advantages you have when you’re married that you don’t necessarily have anymore.
So, when my daughter first told me that she wanted to go to a dance for the first time, my first inclination was to tell her that I hoped she had a wonderful time. But then she told me a ‘boy‘ had asked her! My next thought was wondering how many years I was going to have to live behind bars.
When my kids were really young, we had the occasional talk with friends about first baths, the first bicycle ride without training wheels, and first 49er games. You know, milestones.
When it came to first dates and first kisses, the talks got a little more serious as we joked about polishing knives and cleaning guns. We laughed a lot. It was funny.
But then the day arrived and it wasn’t so funny anymore. My little girl was growing up. And the biggest problem was that at one time in my life a long time ago, I was the boy asking the father’s daughter out to a dance…
How do you warn the daughter you’ve raised in the shroud of princesses and princes and knights in shining armor that the boy is a threat? Suddenly your answers to her questions aren’t making any sense. “Sure honey, but this boy isn’t the prince. He’s a dark lord.”
“Why is he a dark lord daddy? He could be the prince.”
How do you answer that?! When they’re teens, ‘because I said so’s’ don’t really hold water anymore. Teens are tricky. They want to negotiate anything and for you to justify everything. It’s a cruel hand of fate really. It’s like someone hit the reset button on your list of self-sacrifices and you have to start all over again.
Suddenly, I realized that a tough choice had to be made. I decided I would agree to the date on the condition that the boy had to be ‘introduced’ to me because that is what princes do.
She agreed and when the night of the dance came, I sat on a bench in the yard when my daughter brought him over to meet me. I smiled broadly as I stood and when he reached out to shake my hand, I grabbed it firmly. “When do you intend to bring my daughter home?” I asked.
The boy replied, “Twenty minutes after the dance ends sir.”
“Good answer,” I replied, the smile slipping from my face morphing into a face that would intimidate the devil himself. “Because if she’s not, I’ll come like a thief in the night when you least expect it.”
I’m happy to report that the boy brought her home at the time the dance was to end. They both had a good time and I am still a free man.
It’s hard being a single father. Everyone has an opinion, but the only instinct you must follow is your own. In my mind, princesses should remain princesses and I intended to keep it that way.