My eldest daughter is now thirteen. She's turning into an 'emo', wearing lace up socks on her hands, black eyeliner and listening to watered-down pretend metal. Besides this, she's a beautiful young lady who works hard at school, reliable (most of the time) and I'm very proud of her.
Thing is, she's going to a concert on Monday to see a band I hadn't heard of before, and this is right and correct, she should develop her own taste in music (teenagers who like the same stuff as their parents are weird), but it's making me feel old. I'm only thirty-two! (Thirty-three next month, all gifts welcome!) Thing is, I didn't go to my first concert until I was eighteen (It was to see Nine Inch Nails at the now defunct Goldwyn's in Birmingham) so I worry that she's growing up too fast. She could quite easily pass as someone older. She might meet boys at the concert! Oh no!
I'm turning into that 'anyone touches my daughter, I'll kill 'em!' type of dad that were prevalent amongst the parents of the girls I went out with as a teenager. I reckon most blokes hate the teenage boys dating their daughters because they remember what they were like at the same age. A randy little sod. It's like my dad says "with a son, you've only got one prick to worry about, with a daughter you've got thousands". I'm dreading her bringing her future boyfriends home, I'm scared I might strangle the spotty little bastards. I might give the "you 'urt my little princess, I'll rip your bollocks off" speech that I got a few times in my teenage past. Actually, I'm quite looking forward to that bit. (Thing is, all those old dads were right. I ended up a teenage parent and probably ruined a promising future for the girl I impregnated.)
Thing is, I can't expect my daughter to stay a little girl forever. You've got to let them make mistakes, it's all part of growing up, I just worry that she'll make the same fuck-ups I did. Or worse. I shouldn't, because she's probably more mature than I am (she is female, after all), but knowing this won't stop me worrying. It's not so much her, just all the other little evil gets out here. Would I worry as much if I'd had boys instead of girls?