Letter from a Father !

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. Which is weird because, well, you aren’t born yet? You haven’t even been conceived yet. I don’t even know who your mother will be yet. But, nonetheless, I’ve been thinking about you.

I think about how I’d find out about you. If it’s anything like how I found out about your brother, it’ll be very memorable. The hospital, the fear, the panic, the moment, nappies and scented Vaseline. Getting the formula wrong at 2:30am in the dark. I imagine the fights you’ll have with your brother when he picks on you. Because if he’s anything like his father, he has a very retarded sense of humour but, like his mother, he has a very caring heart, so he means well.

I imagine those few years been like a dream. Daddy’s little girl (ngwana wa papa). I like the sound of that. But this is not why I am writing this letter. The thing is, I almost wish you never come. Yes, it sounds wrong I know, the thought alone, I just can’t fathom. But don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I am afraid to be a father. Far from it. The thing that terrifies me is being a father to a baby girl. The thing is, this world . . .

I don’t even know where to begin. I probably won’t trust anyone with you besides your mother and myself. Like many men I imagine locking you inside the house till you reach 30. But you’ll probably sneak out when you are 14. I can’t imagine how life will be like when you are a teenager. But if it’s anything like it is now . . .

I try to think about what kind of a person you’ll turn out to be, in spite of my best efforts. Are you going to have half naked pictures of you on social media, and the next scene is a video of you dancing naked in front of a crowd of boys who see nothing but someone they need to be inside of. I wonder if I will give you enough attention and show you enough affection to prevent you from thinking that a short skirt will get you a warm, caring hug in a club.

Are you going to stain the sheets of some old man who won’t even remember your name? Will you end up hating me so much that you’ll be known as ’that chick’, tongue loose, neck twisted, legs wide open? I guess above all, I fear getting a call or you walk into the house, with that look on your face. The look that says . . . someone hurt my little girl, bad.

Maybe I am focusing on the negative. I don’t know what kind of a father it takes to raise a strong, self-assured woman. You see, parenting is a gamble. There is no single thing that is guaranteed. The thing is, the continued mistreatment of women, both old and young, girls only serve to further emasculate men through over-compensation of masculinity and patriarchy. Ask your mom what that means. The society we live in seems so geared against women.

So many women also seem to be geared against themselves. I want to make God sign a contract that says that if he ever blesses me with a daughter, he must initial the bottom of the page and promise she’ll never get hurt.

But, it doesn’t work like that, does it? Of all the medical and technological advances we have, I guess our inability to determine the sex of our children is God’s way of showing us that we are not always in control, that we mustn’t always try to solve tomorrow’s problems today. It is also a reminder to me that life knows me better that I know myself. But one thing for sure, I look forward to the long charts and ice cream. I love you, my Angel.

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