My wife and I have a daughter, as you probably know. My two sisters each have a daughter. All the females in my little tribe are gathered here together, after my mother’s funeral in Charlotte, NC in February 2011.
As it turns out, my wife’s two younger brothers both have children. One brother has twin daughters, the other a solo daughter, all born in the same year.
When the Daughter was born, one of my very long-time friends heard I had had a child, she mistakenly heard we had a son. Corrected, she was greatly relieved. “Thank God!” she exclaimed.
Maybe it’s because she knows I’ve always gotten along with girls and women, in the main, far more than I have boys and men. I would have one or two male friends, but a lot of female friends by comparison.
I’m not sure why, though. Maybe it’s the testosterone-laden braggadocio that the male of the species engaged in that I found irritating/exhausting.
This is interesting: Dads pay more attention to baby girls than boys, study says. “Fathers of daughters spent about 60% more time attentively responding to their child, compared to those with sons. They also spent about five times as much time singing and whistling with girls and spoke more openly about emotions, including sadness.”
The study notes: “The research could not establish the extent to which innate preferences of girls and boys might be prompting different treatment from their parent. However, the authors concluded that it was likely that social biases were playing at least some role.”
And the song that started running through my mind – there’s always a song, isn’t there? – is a lengthy piece called Soliloquy, from the musical Carousel by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers, and made famous by Frank Sinatra (LISTEN).
The protagonist ASSUMED that he would have a son – “My boy, Bill” – until the thought:
What if he is a girl?
What would I do with her?
What could I do for her?
A bum with no money
You can have fun with a son
But you got to be a father to a girl
Hmm, I DO have fun with the Daughter. I guess, in my heart of hearts, I was glad that we had a girl.