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Fathers and Daughters - Misha Saul

Submission statement: Misha Saul writes about how fathers love their daughters. With examples from the Sopranos, Disney movies and the Talmud.

I suppose some part of the love of daughters must be wrapped up in the feminine. That is, after all, the defining line between daughters and sons.

The love of daughters may be the purest form of love of woman possible: desexualised, a man can appreciate the feminine in all its splendour, unmarred by lust. Gentle. Soft. Loving. Fiery.

A father’s love of his daughter mirrors a boy’s love of his mother. But the love of his mother is the water a boy swims in — as a forever-presence, it’s sometimes harder to appreciate. But a daughter is a new thing that arrives in the flush of adulthood.

Daughters bring out what is best in a man: he provides where she needs him, he protects where she is vulnerable, he dotes where she is playful.

A daughter is the confluence of everything a man needs in life: relevance and love. What greater need is there than to provide and protect your baby girl? And she is the first woman after his mother to love him unconditionally from the get go. But well before the feeling of being loved melts him — when she is two or three or four and tells him she loves him and kisses him — he discovers another feeling of love. The pleasure in loving. The simple pleasure in being near her, silly with her, holding her. Your wife may be the love of your life but that love is bound up with the banalities and duties of marriage and the strictures of covenant. A daughter is a strange, angelic extension of you. A beating heart outside your chest.

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Aww.. I always wanted sons for the very noble reason that it would be far more likely they'd play video games with me, but now you're kinda selling me on the opposite ;)

But then I think about teen drama, their urge to put makeup and nail polish on me (!) and do my hair, and I'm right back where I started. Maybe I'll just split the difference haha

their urge to put makeup and nail polish on me (!) and do my hair,

I've seen girls do this to brothers, especially younger brothers, but I've never seen or heard of this being done to dads. Also don't get why you'd care, just say no. Get them one of those giant groomable barbie heads if they really want.

Do you have unusually long hair? If not, doing your hair wouldn't be appealing anyway.

Girls get plenty of opportunities to practice grooming activities with friends, and don't seem to see fathers as a particularly relevant vector for it anyway.

Can't argue with the teen drama concerns. The stereotype is that girls are much much easier before puberty, less likely to be hyperactive or violent (...I'm talking normal schoolyard violence), and then after puberty the boys hopefully already have some self control and/or people have given up on hoping for it from them, while the girls go mad on hormones for a few years and have tons of power struggles with their parents.

I have two daughters, ages 2 and 4. Reading this was a bit weird. It kinda hit the nose on the love I feel for my daughters. But unlike how the article describes it this love is not strange or new to me at all. In fact, it makes up some of my oldest and most cherished memories. The lack of newness is for a rather simple reason: I have a younger sister.

The protective instincts, the mutual feelings of adoration, and the playfulness that never has to be marred with the taint of sexual desire. Its all something that I've had my entire life. Having daughters has felt weirdly natural to me.

I have an older brother, and I suspect the rougher side of having a boy would also not be a very novel experience. But mentoring and being stronger than any boy I had would be a new experience.

[Sad, Contemplative] Smaller modern family sizes might be depriving a significant portion of the population from understanding different types of familial love relationships.

I wanted one of each but after three of the same sex my wife and I are tapped out. I love my kids and wouldn’t trade them for the world but do think there is a key experience we are missing out on.