- September 27, 2011
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As a father I’ve tried to prepare for the delicate, difficult, and even sometimes embarrassing questions that my kids will inevitably ask. Ask me anything related to religion, morality, or the human anatomy, and while I may not have all the answers, I’m at least not surprised to hear the question. But nothing — and I mean nothing — could’ve prepared me for the question Megan asked me last night:
“Daddy, what would you do if I went to Texas A&M?”
After I regained consciousness, I explained as sweetly as I could that I would have to disown her but that I would be absolutely heartbroken about it.
OK, I didn’t really tell her I’d disown her. But is it that unreasonable to ask that your first-born child change her last name before moving off to college? I don’t think it is.
Clearly I have failed as a parent to properly educate her on the ways of the Texas Aggies. How smart, well-grounded young men and women move to College Station and become brainwashed into the Cult of the 12th Man. One day they’re well-mannered, intelligent adults, the next they’re shaving their heads, building structurally unsafe bonfires, and “Whooping” every five minutes. And then when they get older, they have little Aggie babies with maroon diapers emblazoned with a broken longhorn logo and “Saw ‘Em Off” written in burnt orange Comic Sans. And no grandchild of mine will be humiliated like that!
Megan’s new-found affinity for A&M, thankfully, isn’t due to indoctrination but rather her dream of one day becoming a veterinarian, and practically speaking, there aren’t that many vet schools in Texas. I could try leading her to a new dream, for example the exciting world of Information Technology, but frankly I can’t bring myself to crush her soul like that. Or I could try to persuade her to look outside the state for another vet school, but then I start thinking about out-of-state tuition costs and my head starts hurting. My only saving grace is that she’s is only 10 and a lot can (and will) change between now and high school graduation.
Of course, I’ll continue to love her unconditionally and support her no matter where she goes to college or what she does with her life. She’s my daughter, and I’ll always be her dad. And nothing will ever change that. Even if she does end up going to, well, let’s just not think about it.