They would unanimously agree girls mature faster than boys and are naturally smarter.
As you can imagine I didn’t receive those statements with open arms. I didn’t believe them being true at all. I mean, I was a “B” average student in school. That’s pretty smart if you ask me.
But they never asked me, they just demand I go outside and play while grown folks were talking.
I was one of those kids that when girls seen me they would blurt out, “Yuck, here come Vernon. Run!” Then they would take off running but I would always catch them.
Once I caught up I would ask, while they tried desperately to caught their breath, what were they playing. Their reply was the usual; Jacks, Hopscotch or Four Square. They’ll let me play hesitantly.
My goal was never to win (now that’s funny…) as much as it was trying to learn what made girls so special.
So special that grown folks discussed them like airport security discuss someone held in suspicion. But they never let me know their little secret on what made them special. They barely spoke to me while I was in their presence. I would have to have my daughter to learn about girls.
1991 was the year my life changed. The year my daughter Kiki was born and the year God warned me, through my mother, how special and smart girls are.
My mother told me I was going to treat Kiki differently than my other two children, little Vernon and Joshua because she’s a girl.
After processing my thoughts I said to my mother matter-of-factly, “Mother, dear mother, love is love. The same love I have for my boys, Kiki going to receive. No more, no less.”
I didn’t know I was in for not just a rude awakening but a spiritual awakening as well. I prayed badly for a daughter. Be careful of what you pray for.
It didn’t take this little ball of joy long to get me under her wing. Working 12 hours shifts allow me plenty of time off and plenty of time with her. Enough time for God to show me the differences between the two sexes.
First at only two years old, Kiki would sit in my lap and stare at me.
While she stared into my eyes she just smiled. Her eyes told me how proud she was being my daughter. I can remember it made me feel like the best father on earth. While at the same time, I was losing my ability to say “No.”
A word I used often with my boys.
We would sit for hours watching Lion King everyday. Why? Because I didn’t know how to say “No” to her.
I had become a “Yes Daddy” and didn’t know it. Years later my boys would say Kiki made me soft. Whatever, they just hating…I thought. This was that rude awakening I talked about earlier.
Then at the age of seven she learned to bat her eyes at me. Not the type of bating girls do while flirting with a boy. No, it takes on a whole different meaning when they do it at their fathers.
Batted eyes meant Kiki had done all her chores without me asking her or me having to reminding her.
Homework, cleaned up room, all of it done. I would walk into her bedroom and be astonished. I got goose bumps all over from my head to my toes.
It was a spiritual awakening for me.
A power in her bedroom said she needed a reward. I then reached into my wallet and give her 5 dollars per bat. You do the math. I stopped going into her bedroom.
Finally at the age of thirteen she would give me those sad eyes.
Eyes that she still use on me today and I still fall for them.
Every time she give me those eyes I have mixed feelings of compassion and confusion. Compassion for her and confusion at myself for feeling and being so powerless over this girl after all these years.
As we get ready to see our daughter graduate from college this year I must say one thing. I still don’t know what make girls smarter or mature faster than boys.
But what I do know is having a daughter of my own changed my perspective on my life. It let me know I have beliefs from my childhood that need taking to God.
There’s something different about daughters, something special and something spiritual. Something I can only find out from God and from looking into my daughter’s eyes.