My oldest will be sixteen in a little more than two weeks, at which point we allow her to begin dating. Preferably with large groups, in well-lighted areas, during hours we are all agreed upon prior to any such excursions.
Don’t snicker. It’s all reasonable.
So… we’re driving to the city in order to buy something, anything that the local Wal-mart does not carry. (Which is pretty much everything a real person might ever need.) And I bring up the topic of boys. “What are you going to look for in the boys you date?” I ask. Reasonable question. I know that somebody asked me that once; we had to write an actual list and hand it in to our Sunday School teacher, I think. And yes, I had a list. I’m wordy like that.
My daughter thinks about this for a moment. She is driving, so she can take as long as she wants to answer. There are, after all, large Semi’s and obnoxious, slow moving non-licensed entities on this thoroughfare to watch out for.
“Someone that’s honest,” she finally says.
And for some reason that surprises me, and touches me.
Because whether or not she consciously realizes it, she has distilled her father’s character into one word: Honest.
What you see is what you get. Literally. Even the things that drive me mad are in fact a result of this honesty. Where you or I might make nice to a disagreeable someone’s face and sigh a breath of relief when they are gone, he will not even begin the conversation. Not to please you or me or anyone else; he is incapable of pretense. Where you or I might think out loud, using conversation as a way to come to understanding, he will not utter a word until he has come to a final understanding; any other utterance has the potential of untruth.
It can be maddening–but at the same time, you know that he is sincere when he does speak.
I can live with that.
You go girl. You find a truly honest man, and together you can get through anything.
I happen to know.