Thursday, August 30, 2012

What would I do for my daughters?

As a father of three girls, I can identify with the cliché, “I would do anything for my children.” There are, however, things I would not do for my girls, for instance, anything illegal, things that would ultimately harm them, or brain surgery.

It is expected that fathers will help their daughters. A mechanic will assure that his daughter’s car is in excellent working condition to keep her safe. Dentists, I am sure, clean their children’s teeth. I could go on about fathers helping daughters with plumbers plumbing, painters painting, carpenters carping, and politicians....well, there is always one exception to prove the rule.

This assistance started at conception, when biological fathers fertilize. I grew up in dairy farm country, so I am well acquainted with this concept of fertilization. Trust me, it is not a pretty thing. In fact most farmers I know fertilize their fields in the dead of winter, when snow blankets them. The snow keeps the organic fertilizer from being so malodorous. Then, in the spring, when it warms up and the smell erupts like a manure filled volcano, the farmer goes on vacation to far away places. This is to escape the stench and to avoid the irate phone calls from neighbors.

The reason I have been thinking about things fathers do for daughters is a recent episode from the ABC television show, The Doctors ( The episode I saw had a cosmetic surgeon who had done some work on both of his daughters. His eldest’s belly button was an outie instead of an innie. He fixed that. His younger daughter had a flat chest and one breast was bigger than the other...or one was smaller than the other, I forget which. He fixed that, when she was 18.

People have all sorts of opinions about this situation. Let me give you mine. This father, in effect, said to his daughters, “I, genetically speaking, am a fertilizing failure as a father. Therefore, let me fix your bodies, so you can be beautiful and successful.” Voilá, one daughter has a chest that sticks out more, and the other a stomach that sticks out less.

The rest of the daughters of the world just have to settle for running vehicles, plumbing and roofs that do not leak, or, in the case of my daughters, a well fertilized sense of humor.

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