My cute little daughter is getting older, and it’s breaking my heart. Before I go into too much detail, I admit, I was at fault in this situation. That’s not the point, though. The point is the sadness I felt.
The Flower Child, my seven year old daughter, is in Girl Scouts. This is the first year she’s been in this organization, and we signed her up so she can be a part of a group that is all girls. She’s played T-Ball and Soccer before on teams with boys and girls, but she needs some girl time. Our neighborhood is teaming with masculinity. Within a quarter mile radius, there are eight boys and no girls for her to play with, so she’s incredibly excited to go to Scouts.
I took her to a meeting last week. There are 20 other little second grade girls in her troop. I walked with her to the classroom where she was having her last meeting. Right when we entered the room, she skipped away from me and took a seat in the middle of a gaggle of giggling girls. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, so I waded through the crowd to find her. I snatched her out of her seat and gave her a big hug. Then I set her back down and went on my way.
An hour and a half later, the meeting ended. I came back to get her, and as we were driving home, I asked her how her meeting went.
She said, “Dad, you know, you embarrassed me.”
I looked back at her, completely baffled, “What? How did I embarrass you?”
“When you hugged me!” she declared.
I bristled from her brash statement. “But why? I should be able to hug my daughter.”
“It’s not that. You picked me up and were growling like a bear, in the middle of all my friends. It’s embarrassing!”
“Oh,” I replied. I had never thought about the fact that I might make my daughter embarrassed. I just wanted to give her a hug, since she always does that before she goes somewhere.
This weekend, we had a discussion about what I can and can’t do. I asked if she was just uncomfortable by my actions and not just embarrassed about me being her dad. That would be a total death blow to her father. She said it was just my actions that bothered her. I understand the situation now, and won’t hug her like an angry bear anymore in her circle of friends. I will however still get a socially acceptable hug from her before she runs off to be with her friends.