Monday, August 20, 2007

Spoon Justice

I’m writing a new book, my 19th, that is a compilation of inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

For more information about my writing background, please visit my website,

Now on to today’s post, a revised version of an earlier story…

Ray told me of a television commercial he likes, one where a dad accepts a hug from his daughter who is about to go on a date with a boy standing at the door. As the dad holds his daughter he looks over her shoulder at the boy and without a word but in an unmistakable expression, tells the boy, “Be careful, I’m watching you.”

He shared with me that as he laughed at this commercial his twelve-year old daughter turned to him and asked, “That’s not going to be you, is it?”

Of course not, darling, what father worries about the boys that come to his door hoping to remove daddy’s little girl from his immediate reach?

As we talked I told him of one of my rules about dating. I require the young man to come inside for a chat, or the “interrogation” as Meagan calls it, so that I might gain a modicum of reassurance he is trustworthy of having time alone with my daughter. Everyone in my house knows to stand clear of the door should I not like or be convinced of an answer I should receive. As you might guess, I’ve already ruled out eight of ten boys having a future as my son-in-law by the time I’ve asked my third question.

Ray then told me of a large wooden spoon that hangs on the wall in his daughter’s bedroom.

Of Italian descent, he told me his grandmother, and later, his mother, used a large wooden spoon for stirring their carefully prepared sauces that simmered in a large pot on the kitchen stove. When his conduct merited it, the spoon also conveniently served a secondary purpose as a “correctional instrument.”

Some years after his daughter was born, he happened into an old kitchenware store and spied on a shelf, a dusty wooden spoon similar to the one that had effectively kept him in line as a young boy. He bought it, cleaned it up and hung it on the wall. When his daughter inquired why, he explained, “When you start dating, I’m going to have a chat with every boy that comes into this house. If I don’t like his answer to any of my questions, I’m going to whack him with that spoon.”

I’m sure his daughter was no more delighted with his answer than Meagan is knowing what I’m going to put each prospective Romeo through on their first date, but simply put, we don’t care; it’s a dad’s prerogative. Its one of the few things we look forward to and visualize in our minds, our new favorite smack-down sport, while we watch with suspicion the boys who pursue our girls-turning-into-young-women.

Yes, there is a reason why some of Meagan’s friends call me the Warden.

My neighbor Scott, his friend and I had lunch together one afternoon recently. Scott and I have daughters and his friend has two boys. Scott and I accused his friend of flirting with our waitress while she took our orders, speculating she might now spit in the “old men’s” tea before she served it to us. When he asked why we were bothered by his flirtations, Scott and I agreed that having daughters changed the way we looked at and thought about women.

He dared to ask, “Why?”

Scott summed it up beautifully. He said, “When you have a son you only worry about one penis. When you have a daughter, you worry about all the penises.”

One month ago Scott became the proud father of his second daddy’s girl. I’m thinking about buying him a large wooden spoon. Maybe two. I’m sure he’ll know what to do with them.

BTW, the photo is one I took of Scott, Reese and Rylee.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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