By Jacob Hatcher
Someone recently made the claim that I am one of the least girly men they know. And that could be true; it’s hard for me to say. I do come from a long line of men, not just in personality, but in birth too. Hatchers have daughters less frequently than Earth sees Halley’s Comet. My Daddy is one of three boys, and his Daddy is one of seven. If a Hatcher’s going to have a kid, it’s just assumed that the kid will be a boy.
My wife and I added two more boys to the family tree in a matter of two years, and assumed when we tried for a third child that we’d have enough boys in our home to make a decent ZZ Top cover band. Little did we know we would be covered in pink when our Mollie Jane came along. We went from monster trucks, dinosaurs, and cowboys to Peppa Pig, dolls, and hairbows. I once wrote a song that said, “I think God made little girls for cotton dresses and golden curls”, and sometimes I look at Mollie Jane and it feels like I was picturing her when I wrote that song, nearly ten years before she was born.
It’s funny, the way your kids are different. “I love you Daddy” is music to my ears regardless of which one says it, but somehow the melody with which she says it hits me the same way a gentle piano tune does. I love their hugs all the same, but her arms around me and her head on my shoulder just makes me feel ten feet tall and bulletproof; like there’s no dragon she’ll face that I can’t slay for her, even though I know it’s not true. A girl in the house really does change things. Not just the color pallet and odors, but there’s just a softness with her around. There’s a tenderness that I didn’t realize we were missing. As time goes on, she may grow out of dolls and Peppa, and she may even have days when she’s hard to get along with. But she’ll always be my little girl.