Ok, I am speechless. Well, no I’m not really, but I don’t know what to say… what to do or if I can do anything.
I recently hit a milestone as a father, I actually thought I had this “Dad” thing in the bag!
I always felt I could be the superhero that makes everything better. But I think I found my kryptonite.
What do you do when a boy breaks your daughters heart? What do you say? Can you even make it better? This isn’t a cut or a scrap, I can’t put a band-aid and a kiss on this to start the healing.
Let’s set the scene…
I come home on the Friday before Super Bowl, My oldest is sitting on the couch, hoodie up, under a blanket and staring at her phone. I barely get a grunt of acknowledgement that I’m home. Which is odd, but hey she’s a teenager. So I ask her what’s wrong with her. Typical answer: “Nothing”. I chock it up to maybe she’s not feeling good since her sister was sick recently. Maybe she’s coming down with it too.
I sit down after I get out of my work clothes and tap her on the foot and ask what’s wrong again (Hey it’s my prerogative as her father to nag). Out of the corner of my eye I see my wife shaking her head, mouthing the words “Don’t ask – Don’t ask” and my baby says…
“Well I’m single”
Rocks start dropping in my stomach. This was not what I expected. We were just talking the day before about her boyfriend coming over for Super Bowl.
Now understand this isn’t a fly-by-night relationship. This was 3 years together. With a kid I really wanted to hate (you know the “no one is good enough for my little princess” part of parenting) but couldn’t. Being 2 years younger (from Oct – Jan) at times, but still in the same grade (kid is all kinds of smart, skipped a grade and still managed to be in the top 10 kids scholastically in their grade). Shook my hand first time we met, introduced himself and thanked me for letting him date daughter. Still kept me listed in his phone as “The Man That Scares Me” and seemed to always do what he could to keep my daughter happy. Spoiled her with gifts when he could (even against my whispered instructions to stop having to outdo the last gift). Really a great kid.
I asked if she wanted to talk about it. She shook her head “No”. I did the only thing I could think of I opened my arms wide and asked if she “Just need your daddy?” and she put her head on my chest and cried. My heart broke. We stayed like that for about 10 minutes and in her normal stoic manner, cleaned up her face and went back to the other side of the couch. because this kid doesn’t like for anyone to see her cry. I couldn’t think of what to do to make it better. I caved to something I had been denying her for a while. I put the Xbox 360 in her room. It’s all I could think of.
Give her a little alone time. Also giving me the time and space to ask my wife what happened. She didn’t know, she just got the same basic words I got and that was it. She tells me “When she’s ready she’ll tell us”.
But I can’t wait for that! I need to know now! I need to do something! I’ll give her the option to delete him from my social media, that should help make it better, right? She says “no that’s ok”. Shit! Do I need to beat him up? “No” Ahhhh…. I need to be able to make this better!
I feel hurt for my kid. Understand, I didn’t think this was going past graduation, because they are going in different directions after High School, but I didn’t think it was going to happen now. I mean talk about shit timing. It’s 10 days before Valentine’s Day and tickets for Senior Prom have to be purchased in the next few weeks.
I go against my wife’s orders and message one of her few best friends that has moved away (one is across the country and the other one about 30 miles away). I ask her if she has any free time to get together with her buddy, I think she could use a little girl time. They only get together once a year because of scheduling issues and it’s been awhile. She says she has sometime coming up. I tell her to text my daughter and that I won’t tell her what’s going on that if/when she wants to tell her, she will. They make plans. I have at least one rock disappear from my stomach. Did I do a good thing? I think so. What else could I do? I had to at minimum try to take a band-aid out of the box, right?
I checked on her before I went to bed and after another good hug, asked if she’ ok? She said “I will be!” A couple more rocks go away.
It’s been 10 days since this happened and I still have no clue what went down. But she has made plans with a few people, bought her prom ticket and is starting to act like her normal self, so I think the rocks are down to just gravel now. But I feel my cape might have shrunk a little bit on this one.