My daughter is almost 7. No, she didn’t announce she has a boyfriend. However, I did have an experience that I was not prepared for as a Baba. After all, I’m her one and only – right? I’m her first guy in her life! I’m the one that should always be her first love.
It became very real for me when towards the end of school as I do the daily school pickup that all of us Babas/Dads do, that stuff was changing – on that day.
After a year, the Gucci Patrol (those moms that show up in high heels, full makeup and those massive bags with the LV or Gucci logos that look like they are carrying the entire house – although chances are it just carries their phones and car keys – hopefully their drivers license) have become more anxious because it’s closer to the holidays and the end of these school drops and pickups. No offence to the Gucci Patrol because you guys look cool – but I am the odd Baba out of the membership so I get to use this, always, in my defence. 🙂
I do get to meet a few mums that just rock and they have taken pity on me the entire year and gradually moved their way, centimetre by centimetre, to my standing spot to say hi and find out I’m not a bad guy and hey, that I really like hanging out with my kids.
We have chats and laugh and for these mums, I really appreciate them because the talks and friendships on the ‘kid-turf’ make me feel like we are all part of the Baba-Patrol!
One of those awesome mums tells me “Mostafa, Elsa (names changed of course – to anything Frozen related) came to me and said she has a boyfriend”.
As an Arabic man, I said “Wow. Thats amazing! Thats a good thing.”
Stop! What did I just say?
At that moment, it hit me like a rock coming off of a tall building aiming only for me – her daughter was 6! My daughter was 6! What?!?!? A boyfriend?
My only thought was ‘I’m going to have to buy a gun and keep it with me at all times!’ (like my #crazywife dad – which I had no idea was possibly there until we sat in the back of his truck in the US 2 months ago and I wondered what my feet were sitting on – it was a rifle !).
So here comes Elsa saying “Mum, look what my boyfriend gave to me.” She proudly holds up a piece of paper with colors and pictures of drawn flowers with writing and scribbles that only a boy can do, saying “I Love You”.
Her mum laughed and hugged her and Elsa was shy.
I wanted to grab my girl and run – run far away – run anywhere where there wasn’t boys. I was thinking about enrolling her in a girls school for the rest of her life – I was thinking about never letting her see her friends (that were boys) in the compound ever again.
This mum saw the color drop from my dark face and she pats me on the shoulder and says “Mostafa, its ok – really its ok – its normal – you were 6 once too”. More color goes!
She asked if Saffi had that before and I said, far too loud, “No way!”.
Listening to her tell me that it can happen, they are kids, its ok. I had to laugh, this was my life – I had daughters – the very ones that I chased when I was little – the one’s that I continued to chase into my teenage years – I felt complete fear knowing that this was a reality.
Love for a 6 year old, a 15 year old, a 20 year old or even a 36 year old like me is so different. I can’t imagine my daughter having to put up with this. I can’t imagine having to have her think of how guys think.
I want her to be protected and know that there is only one love.
She is only 6, almost 7, and I’m thinking about this!
I call my wife, who just has luckily arrived at the airport returning from another trip in a panic. She laughs.
“You do remember 2 weeks ago when she received that note and a knock at the door that said ‘come to my house to play, I like you’?”
Oh no, but he was 4!
But she was right, this was my life. I have 2 daughters. If I’m doing this at their age now – whats going to happen when they are older?
This is like a weird pain or weird confusion I have never felt. They are my girls. They are the ones that know I can protect them.
I know I need to work through this as a Baba. I know I need to look at this in a different way – hopefully not involving my father in law’s rifle 🙂
I don’t know how Dads deal with this. I don’t know how they deal with their girls getting older and falling in love – however many times that happens – and all of the drama that goes along with it.
Is it possible to do those GPS things you see in the movies and install them, permanently?
Sigh. I need to re think my Baba-Hood approach. And I know that even when they become 50, they are still going to be my baby girls but wow, that is just such a long time for all of this!