(part 1 here)
Having a girl is totally different and I'm not even sure why. With Holden, I feel a
sense of responsibility, that need to step up to the plate as a role model and set a decent example for what it means to be a man. With Nadia, I feel like all I can do is worry about her.
It's not all bad. I feel protective of her on a whole other level than I did with Holden. I guess this means I'll be even more conscientious of how I act and present myself, since after all she's going to form her entire idea of the way men are from me, and the whole "role model" thing is still important, just in a different way. The difference is that with Holden, I know he's going to have his challenges and his hardships, but I trust that he'll be OK one way or the other -- in fact, I'm going to make sure of it. With her, I have no idea whether she'll be OK or not, nor do I feel like there's anything I can really do to affect the outcome.
If this sounds despairing, it's only because I (admittedly) can't put myself in the place of a girl who's growing up and I don't know the first thing about what she would be looking for when she looks to her father. It's my own limited capacity to think beyond my own shallow experience that robs me of the confidence I need to be the right kind of person to raise this girl. One thing I know is that I feel more love for both of my children than I ever imagined I could, and I'm willing to do absolutely everything in my power to give them both the best life possible. And if things still don't turn out totally perfect for either of them, in spite of my best efforts, then I guess they were never going to anyway.