It’s amazing what makes a father proud of his daughters.
There are the usuals. Academic excellence. Sporting greatness. Anything that might attract riches to accelerate an early retirement.
And then there’s how they like their meat cooked.
When you’re talking classic BBQ fare, my girls are in the Well Done camp.
Only the blackest of steaks. Charred snags. It’s enough to bring a tear to a weekend chef’s eye.
None of this medium rare stuff. Like their Dad, they want to know that the beast being eaten is beyond saving.
It’s a trait you’d expect from a beefy son. Instead, my very feminine daughters are holding up a family tradition.
It surprised me at first. And for some ridiculous reason, made me happy.
Dads like to know that they’ve passed something on down the line. Especially to the females.
Boys are easy. They usually have the same bowling action as the old man, and enjoy similar taste in action movies. Carbon copies. Girls are different.
To discover that like me, they’ll turn their nose at any chop that isn’t on fire, was a satisfying moment.
No surprise that all this careful evaluation of family habits came to me while I was burning meat on the deck.
You may be aware that the mere mention of BBQ in our house is accompanied by a cool drink. Two if the gas happens to be turned low.
That could be the reason I started thinking of other things that The Teenager and Daughter Two have inherited from their dear dad.
It would be nice to think the list would include items that the Good Parenting manual spruiks. Respect. Manners. Consideration for others.
Or Toes. Skinny, ugly, protruding Toes.
Mention this to the youngest one, and her usual dazzling smile will go missing. Something of a sore point.
It’s true that my feet aren’t the highlight of an impressive anatomy. Extended family members have barred me from exposing any flesh below the ankles.
Fork Toes, they call me. Such insults from my own people.
Sadly, Daughter Two has them too. As much as I adore her, I must admit those feet are pretty scary. Long, and bony. Don’t tell her that though.
She has also made the outrageous claim that I have a head not dissimilar to a melon. And that the Huge Head gene has been passed down to her.
The Treasurer says the area above our neck is nothing like the bowling ball being suggested by others. Her soothing words work for me. The girl is having none of it.
The Teenager is a little luckier. She has normal feet, and a head of regular proportions. The benefit of being in the image of her striking mother.
Between them, they’re loud, and they laugh lots. They have a love of family, and a desire to look after each other. We’re happy with that.
It’s a bit early to tell if either has taken on my party habits. Let’s hope not. A beautiful young lady belting out a Kenny Rogers classic might not the ideal way to trap an eligible gent.
Still, he’ll be a lucky lad, the bloke who eventually wins the heart of one of these fair maidens. No steak he cooks will ever be too tough. And the snags can sit on that hot plate forever.
A few tips for the boys though. No mention of the melon. And don’t complain if someone happens to keep her shoes on.