My Girls: A Sacred Trust
I can still remember where I was standing and the way my daughter Aubri looked at me that fateful December day. She came to me and said, “Dad, Dan really wants to talk to you to ask if he can be allowed to date me.” I knew this day would come.
I answered honestly, “Do you know how difficult this is for your father?”
To which Aubri replied, “I realize Dad that no one will be good enough for me in your eyes.” Aw, such wisdom from my teen.
Interviewing her date
I told her to set up a time but I had a plan. Each day she picked I was amazingly already booked! I knew that the longer I delayed, the longer it was before this young man could accost my little girl. Finally my daughter called and said, “Dad, Dan really wants to get together. And Dad, he’s really nervous.” I asked if he was there right then with her and she said that he was. I said, “Good, tell him he should be real nervous.”
The day arrived and a nervous young man came for ‘the talk’ and to ask me a question. My wife offered him juice, milk, coffee or tea and Dan took water. He sat on the edge of the couch, stiff as a board with his glass of water and red blotches going up and down his face. If I said I wasn’t enjoying it, I’d be a liar.
With Aubri out of the house my wife and younger daughter headed upstairs to leave us alone (I later learned that the two females did attempt to listen at the stairs but to their dismay they couldn’t make out the words of the interrogation). Dennis Rainey wrote an excellent book called “Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date” (http://powertochange.com/familylife/shop/better-parenting-resources/) where he gives great instruction and mentions that the interview should last about 20 – 30 minutes. By the time we hit an hour, the water had been downed in gulps and I wasn’t finished yet. (Did I mention I was enjoying this?)
At one point I told Dan that if he hurt Aubri he might as well cut off my arm because the pain would be as severe and long lasting. After an hour and a quarter Dan began to relax and he said something back to me that moved him way up in my books. “Mr. Black, I don’t get to have these kinds of open discussions. Do you think we could do this again?” Dan is now my favorite (and only) son-in-law as we did have more discussions including the one where he asked for Aubri’s hand in marriage and I said ‘no’ but that’s a story for another time.
Dads, your daughter is a sacred trust, protect her. If you are going to interview your daughter’s date, make sure you discuss this and agree upon it with her. Otherwise she may feel slighted and hassled instead of protected. I have another daughter and I look forward to my next victim. Maybe he’ll appear in another blog about another fateful day.