My wife and I have been blessed with three beautiful girls. I have several friends who have only girls, and we had a camaraderie of sorts. There was even a name given to us…DODO’s (Dad’s of Daughters Only). We have an understanding between us. We felt guilt when our desire for a boy crossed into the arena of discontentment. We would admit there were grass is greener moments in our minds, when thinking of the house with boys. They get to watch the Lego Movie (still haven’t seen it) and I’m stuck with the Barbie movies (I may or may not be hiding these in high places in the house, oh they are torture)…or they are out in the yard playing catch while I’m doing craft time. But, we also found refuge during the quiet moments with our daughters that seemed to be rare with the wrestling, high-energy, everything-turns-into-a-gun moments with sons.
And there were moments of shame. Whenever discontentment or jealousy reared its ugly head, we were reminded of friends that struggle to have children. We have beautiful girls, precious gifts, and how could these thoughts even cross our minds. We were ashamed as we prayed for our friends who desired to just have one child.
Now before you think me and my friends are barbaric chauvinist from the dark ages who only wanted sons to tend to our land and take over our throne, let me explain something. These thoughts of dissatisfaction were rare. In fact, it typically just lasted a short time after the ultrasound, and other times sprinkled in, which were oftentimes caused by others (see below). But for the other 99.9% of the time, we treasured our sweet little girls. We enjoy the snuggles, being their knight in shining armor, protecting them from the monsters under the bed, their sweet spirit, and having the special bond that daddy’s have with their little girls.
That being said, this week I faced another one of those moments. My wife and I are expecting our fourth child, and with three girls preceding this child, I was beginning to pick up on a pattern. Since the title of this article suggest I need to be honest, I will. There were many prayers for this little one to be a boy, including my daughters who wanted a little brother. On the way home to pick up my wife for the ultrasound, I had an honest conversation with God. I confessed my need to be content, and my greatest desire was for the health of the baby. I told God my desire for a son. I prayed a paraphrase of Hannah’s prayer “God if you will give me a son, I will give my son to you” (which is a prayer for all of my kids). But if God deemed me better fit for me to be a dad of all girls, I wanted His will and would embrace it, just like I have lovingly embraced all of my girls.
So we walked not the doctor appointment, with shaky knees and trembling hands. My wife laid down, and I held her hand. At first, I thought I saw on the monitor what I had seen three times before. And I began to prepare myself for a life of all girls…four girls. But, to our shock, the ultrasound tech said “Daddy, looks like you got your wish”. I said “What? What does that mean”. She revealed (no details needed) to us on the screen, it is a boy.
Am I excited? Absolutely. I was overwhelmed with tears of joy that day. But I can’t help but think of the club I once was a part of, and I owe them something. As I turn in my resignation from the DODO club, I would like to speak on their behalf to save them from future harm.
So on behalf of my fellow DODO’s, let me just give you, especially those that have never been at our tea parties, some advice…
- Please do not say “I’m sorry” after we say we have all girls. Unless it is your fault, there is no need to apologize.
- Please do not say “just wait until they are a teenager”. Believe me, dads with daughters will gladly wait for teenage-dom. In fact, most of us would welcome Jesus coming back before that happens, so reminders are not necessary.
- Please do not say “I’m so glad I don’t have girls”. That is equivalent of saying “I’m so glad I don’t have your face, it must be awful to have that face”. Now you know how that makes a DODO feel.
- Never insinuate that having boys is a “man thing”, that somehow those that have boys are more macho, manly, or have greater bravado. It takes just as much “man” to raise a daughter as it does to raise a son.
- Please do not ever say “having boys is the best” to someone. It stings a little.
- We appreciate you telling us our daughters are cute/beautiful , but please stop short of the “hope you own a shotgun” comments, reminders of boys/dating makes us weak at the knees. (Yes, I’ve had people actually say to me, “Your girls are beautiful, I hope you own a shotgun”. Not kidding.)
- Encourage them. Daughters need their dads. In fact, from what I have read, the relationship between a daughter and her dad has profound significance and tremendous influence on their future decisions, relationships, well-being, confidence, and self-worth. Give them a shot in the arm, your prayers, your godly advice, and your encouragement.