18 Years Old

Excuse me for what might appear to you as “inconvenient”
It’s just that I’m failing to understand your detachment
Your lack of accountability
Your inconsistency in being biologically responsible
Your reward and exchange based behaviour…

You see its just that my daughter…
You know,
Your Daughter
Your Niece
Your Grand-daughter
Your God-daughter

She is lacking exposure to the fine qualities of a Man
She is rich in male family titles, but unfortunately has nothing to show for them
She is poor in what one might refer to as a “good male role model”

I am extremely conscious about what our young girls are being taught to look for in relationships with men
Because the thing is, I wasn’t taught. I was shown by default.
Consequently, I am not a fan of passive lessons.
As girls, we do not have to grow to learn the hard way as women.
This doesn’t have to be every girls fate.

I’m conscious about where my young girl will directly learn what to look for,
through real exemplary encounters with male role models
Where will these direct lessons come from?
Because at the moment, it is a challenge to nurture a vision that is depleted in me.

My blurry examples are made up of men who require:

a relationship with her mum, in order to be there for her
a favour from her mum, in order to be there for her
a place to stay, in order to be there for her
a free f**k, in order to be there for her
money for a car, in order to be there for her
money to loan, in order to be there for her
…for his ego to be stroked, in order to be there for her
To be embraced as a once a year / occasional type figure, in order to be there for her

I could go on…

I’m conscious that I am failing to pass on a positive view of a man, a father, that reflects plain and simple reliability and love – without being “paid!” to do so. A man that holds himself to account and is able to extend
affection
love
kindness
protection
guidance
knowledge
mentorship

You know,
the things that will show and teach my girl, our girls, the qualities of a good MAN.

…Because it seems that these male family titles
these biologically obtained labels
Dad
Grand-dad
God-father
Uncle

…they do not and are not, serving a purpose for all of us.
And so the vicious cycles of poor choices in a male partner continue.

I contemplate on where the real issue lies. A lot.

Is it in the raising of a man?
Is it in the intrinsic generational memory of detachment within males?
Is it in the televised conditioning around the role that males do not / should not / are too entitled to play in society?

Around about the age of 18, I made a choice on the type of man I wanted to be with. It was very short sighted. It was very centred to my emotional needs at the time. However, all choices, even at the premature age of 18, or thereabouts, are ones to be mindful of. These choices will go on to form your judgements going forward. I went onto marry my 18 year old sweetheart in my early twenties but failed to realise at the time that there are just some things that need to be present in a person from the start. Since divorce, my girl has also been without a father. And that rests on me like hot coal because if I were honest with myself, the signs were there when I was 18 years old.

Whilst we cannot control how life will play out or the decisions that other people will make; I am inclined to heed to the lessons around my experience.

My take is this: The man, the friends, the relationships, that you may choose at 18 years old may not be parent or marriage material. You may think that this doesn’t matter – but it does. And it will. Certain qualities may not be a concern when we are younger but unless we press pause and remain in that age forever, those overlooked qualities (that perhaps were never there in the first place) will eventually become our measures.
It is so important for us to teach our girls to:
Pay attention to how a man treats his mother
Pay attention to his commitment to his own life and goals
Pay attention to his perseverance when things go wrong

Observe and observe some more; because it is very rare that a person will have to show you who they are, a second time.

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