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Don’t worry, everything’s fine. I just wanted to tell you something that has nothing to do with my time in Germany, except that it’s based off a conversation that I just had here in Germany.
WARNING: We’re getting real schmaltzy and saccharine up in here.
A few of us went out for a drink tonight, and the kids/boys/guys/males/whatever noun you assign them in the group were saying that they want only sons. Never daughters. Because with daughters, you have to worry, if you are a father.
And it occurred to me that that is very true. That you do worry about your daughters. All the time. I think it probably keeps you up at night (like, more than you tell us it keeps you up at night, which is not an insubstantial amount). And I’d imagine that that’s a burden of sorts.
Anyway. I listened to this for a while, and then I interjected (surprise!) that sure, all men want sons, but that doesn’t stop them from being happy—so happy!—with daughters. And that the worry doesn’t mean that fathers and daughters can’t have a really wonderful relationship. Like, no, maybe you don’t coach your daughter’s football team (although I pointed out that your daughters—well, okay, not your daughters, specifically, but other daughters—can indeed play sports, and that the fathers have the opportunity to be a part of that). But (and this was my main point) a father has the chance, with a daughter, to teach another human how she deserves to be treated in this life. And that I learned how to treat myself and expect—nay, demand—to be treated by others because of you. And one young man pointed out that he didn’t know how to do that. He didn’t have any sisters. How would he know?
And then it occurred to me that you didn’t have any sisters, either. You didn’t know beforehand how to do what you have done for my sister and for me.
Except that, somehow, you totally did.
PS Mamochka—one boy asked me if I would really want a tumultuous mother-daughter relationship. And I said that that wasn’t the sort of relationship that I had with my mother. What I didn’t say was that, if I should have a daughter, and if that daughter loves and looks up to me one iota as much as I love and look up to you, I will know that I am the most loved, respected mother this side of you.