• 45°

Ripping off the bandage

My three daughters and I have an understanding: If they are really interested in someone and want to begin “seeing/dating” them, they need to keep me in the loop.

My rules for their dating are very simple.

First, the young man in whom they are interested must be a Christian. They are each Christians and the idea of “missionary dating” — if I date him, he’ll come to church, etc. — is never a good idea.

Second, he must be polite and respectful to everyone. If he doesn’t say “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am” to his mother and “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” to his father (or any other adults as appropriate), then he likely won’t be respectful of my daughter, either.

Third, he shouldn’t give me a reason to end his life earlier than he expected. I won’t expand on this one, on the grounds that it may incriminate me in the future.

A few weeks ago, my 16-year-old daughter Britain said, “OK, Dad, I need to catch you up to speed.”

Then she told me about this young man at her church (she lives in another state with her mother) with whom she is very close friends. They have a lot in common, but she has not been interested in him as anything more than a friend, she said.

So, when he asked her to the homecoming dance at school, she agreed to go as long as he understood she was not “into him” as a boyfriend. She told me she didn’t want him to think she liked him in that way and then be disappointed later. She reiterated that they are great friends and she didn’t want to mess that up, so she tried to be upfront and honest with him in a polite way.

I told her I thought that was very smart and rather mature of her.

That was on a Saturday. The next week passed quickly through a lot of busy-ness for both of us, and we had very little time to talk with one another.

The next Saturday, she texted me and said she needed to give me an update.

You know how I said this guy likes me and asked me to homecoming? Well anyway, like starting Monday I started liking him. I don’t know where that came from. LOL. Well, anyway. I figured I’d tell him since I know he likes me.

And so, yeah. We’re basically “dating” (it’s not really dating right now but that’s what people call it nowadays for some reason when you’re in a relationship).

So, yeah. But he’s like a really great guy and all. I thought that before I liked him. I wouldn’t like him if he wasn’t.

But I’m not gonna go out with him for a little while ’cause (obviously) Mom wants to meet him a few times before she’s actually comfortable letting me be with him alone. I understand, though. LOL. I’d do the same to my kid.

Hmmm. Doesn’t know where that came from?

Relationship? Relationship?

As I sighed and laughed reading her long text, I tried to decide how to word my response.

Before I could type anything, she sent another quick text:

Sorry I’m basically pulling the bandaid off on that.

Ha! That’s my kid, “Pulling the bandaid off.”

What could I say? She had information she knew I needed. She knew I needed to be aware of her interest in this young man whose background I may or may not be looking into. She knew I love her and want to keep up with her.

And she knew I needed to get the info as quickly and painlessly as possible.

So off came the bandage. Riiiiipppp. I think I lost a few arm hairs with it, but I’ll live.

I want my children to be happy and to have wonderful lives. I’ll fight to the death for any of them. But a part of me hurts every time they do something that lets me know how much they’ve grown from the cute little babies I once held in my arms.

We don’t always love the news we’re given. But sometimes we need to hear the painful truth. I wish more people were willing to rip off the bandages.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com or 601-265-5307.