Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Is a Father a Man If He Only Has Daughters?

by | Apr 24, 2024 | Masculinity | 0 comments

The Vasectomy Dialogues: The Obsession Over Having Boys

I laughed at how amazing it was that all this time bringing my oldest daughter to get “Paletas,” and she never goes, “That one! I want the bright neon blue popsicle with the giant bubble gum ball.”

She always goes for the sensible yoga girl in her mid-twenties options like strawberries, mango, lime, or watermelon.

Had that been me when I was a boy, I would have gone for the bubble gum one. No questions asked.

Every week, after ballet class, I drive across the street to Fruta, the best Mexican popsicle shop in Petaluma. I let Jovie choose her treat while I worked through every single item on the menu I have not tried, like tostiesquites, piña loca, and mangonada.

I love their ice creams, especially their prune popsicles. Why the prune popsicle? I have no idea. You don’t have to tell me; I know what prune is good for, and I don’t struggle with it. But somehow, a paleta made out of it is delicious.

But their novelty items capture my imagination; like you, I didn’t know what any of them are. So I set out to find out.

I walk to a table outside and let Jovie play with her friends from her class, and I often think about the fact that I only have girls.

People often ask me if I will try for the boy.

I always tell people, “I don’t care what they are as long as they are…”

Here, people interrupt and hurriedly interject, “healthy!”

I looked at them and responded, “Healthy? What? No. Cute! I don’t care as long as they are cute.”

There are plenty of ugly babies waddling the surface of this earth, and parenting is hard, but if you look at your kid, and they are cute, or they do something cute, you feel like it is all worth it.

I honestly don’t know how parents of ugly kids do it.

I would not even care if they had twelve fingers and eleven toes as long as they were cute.

I love my girls, and not once have I thought I wish I had boys.

At the beginning of our family planning, Justine and I wanted a boy and a girl. Why?

I can’t tell you.

But I can tell you that when I had my daughter, I immediately fell in love with her. Then, I had my second daughter, and I immediately fell in love with her, too.

I have never thought, “I wish I had a boy.”

Also, what a huge relief I didn’t.

Whenever I go to playdates with my daughter’s kindergarten classes, the girls are individually figuring out the way around the park while the boys lie on an unrecognizable pile of limbs.

I think of my childhood. I didn’t break a bone. But:

  • My neighbor split my head wide open after playing knights with broomsticks.
  • I built an eight-foot fortress out of a pillow, climbed to the top, sat on it, then rushed to a glass table nose first.
  • Once, I was jumping off a four-foot wall with a friend; he thought it would be a good idea to pull my feet back as I was jumping; learning from my previous accident, I decided not to use my nose but two front teeth. I needed emergency dental surgery.
  • Another time, while visiting my grandfather, I wanted to balance on a rock. I did, but not for long before I rocketed toward a broken glass bottle. I finally figured out how to put my hands out instead of my face. I ended with eighteen stitches in my left hand and almost losing my pinky on my right. Luckily, we were on Castillo Grande beach in Cartagena, where the hospital was one block away.

And these are just the memorable accidents that happened before I turned seven.

So I am relieved I won’t have to deal with that.

I don’t know where our societal obsession with fathers having boys comes from.

I don’t know if men feel inadequate to raise a woman or if they can’t find things to do with their daughters. Do you know what you would do if you were a man and had a girl? The same things you like doing. And for me, that’s eating chicharrón, dancing salsa, and being loud. And my girls into it, too.

Maybe there is an evolutionary issue at hand. Or the desire for a boy is more of prolonging the family name. Maybe men feel life is coming to an end and know they’ve made many mistakes and haven’t fulfilled their potential, so plastering their name in a tiny package with their genetic material provides the balm to assuage their existential terrors.

Last names are an antiquated concept. A signal for property, profession, power, wealth, and legacy. Now, that signal is much less important.

It reminds me of a fun word in Spanish, “Mojón — “pronounced: Mo-HO-n. It slides out of your mouth.

The word describes a post made of stone that signals the limit of a property or a direction in which to go.

In the evolution of language (especially in the region I grew up), I never knew it as that but as a word that means “turd.” That’s right, the word evolved from “marker” to “a piece of shit.”

So it doesn’t only easily slide out of your mouth. It also slides out of you.

I am not saying your last name has turned into a turd.

But that the signal the last name used to sit on is no longer relevant.

So, instead of focusing on carrying on the family name, we should instead worry about raising good human beings who can be happy and contribute to their community. And, more importantly, appreciate the exquisiteness of a good Mexican paleta.

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