When someone sent me a link to a "must-read" Facebook post about a dad's epic note to his daughters' potential suitors, I cringed in anticipation. I've read them all before — the messages with passive-aggressive hints at ownership, the not-so-subtle jokes about sex, and the obligatory reference to the shotgun they've got in the basement that they aren't afraid to use if they have to.
But this one . . . oh, this one was gloriously different, and as a mom to two daughters with a husband who is rightfully nervous about the day they'll begin dating, it's a good reminder for how we want to raise them.
How they shouldn't need a "creepy possessive badass" lurking behind them their whole adolescence. How we want them to be able to take care of themselves, to own their own bodies and their own decisions, and how the only thing these potential boyfriends (or girlfriends) need to worry about if they do wrong by our daughters is our daughters themselves. ("You will respect them, and if you don't, I promise they won't need my help putting you back in your place.")
So, please, dads everywhere, read J. Warren Welch's pitch-perfect "Rules For Dating My Daughters" message and commit it to memory. I know I am.