My daughter says she doesn't understand boys.
She wondered aloud last night why boys seem to be so obsessed with college girls.Why boys seem to think that girls in college are so exciting.
"They should go after women your age," she told me. "You have it together. College girls like me are just trying to figure it out."
It seemed like it would be just exhausting to tell her that I dont have it together. Not even close. I didn't want to tell her how almost every day is an exercise in self-loathing and how sometimes I look in the mirror and just feel sick. How losing over 200lbs didn't fix my heart or my head, and how very much I continue to struggle. How I stand in the mirror and look at the love handles and the drooping skin and feel like crying.
So instead I just explained that boys are not worth bothering with and men are the ones you want. How men will appreciate you not only for your beauty, but for how you make them feel. How you want to find a man who knows you can hold your own and who will respect you for it. How a good, real relationship is two people taking care of each other.
She wanted french fries, so we went to McDonalds. I was waiting for her near the counter and the boy working the register, who was probably far closer to my daughters age than mine, wanted my attention.
He was charming. He tried. I have underwear older than him and absolutely zero interest in anyone except my Jason, but he gave it his best shot.
We left and as we walked through the parking lot my daughter casually said, "That man was flirty."
"He was crazy," I told her. "He probably thinks I'd be a good sugar mama."
She thought about that for a minute. "I think he just wanted your attention because you are beautiful."
Oh, this little soul. This sweet little soul is exactly everything I always wanted when I prayed for a daughter. She sees the beauty in the brokeness. She isn't afraid. With her wild hair and her wild heart and purple-stained lips, she's every single thing I wanted in a daughter, and a whole lot of the things I still wish I could grow up to be.
The car was dark, it was quiet except for her crunching. I don't think she saw my tears.