Friday, June 17, 2011

Daddy's Girls

I didn't really understand what it meant to be a daddy's girl until I was in my 20s. I never thought of myself as one, but what I've realized in the last seven years or so that it isn't about being spoiled or getting my way, it's about the real grown-up relationship that I have with my dad that makes me a daddy's girl.

I remember the exact moment I finally understood my dad. After years of disagreeing about everything from politics to religion to tattoos, and constantly butting heads, I suddenly understood where he had been coming from. It was the day my oldest son was born. As I held my beautiful newborn boy my dad said to me, "You can never really show your kids how much you love them until they are holding a child of their own". I was so unbelievably in love with my little baby, and I knew there was nothing in the world I wouldn't do for him, and nothing in the world could keep me from doing what was best for him. And I finally got it. As much as I thought my dad was just being a mean old fart when I was in high school, it turns out he was just doing what was best for me and trying to lead me to be a good person, and a good parent. That is a lesson that I have carried with me for the last 5 years. And my own children may hate me when they are 15, but someday they will hold their own child for the 1st time and they will get it.

My dad is no stranger to daughters; just last month my step-mom gave birth to his 5th daughter. I think each of us has a very different relationship with him. We are all very different from each other and our dad has managed to learn how to deal with all of us, and trust me, we are not the easiest of girls to deal with. I could tell stories about my dad and each of his daughters for weeks, but I'm going to share just one more about him and my younger sister who I will refer to as Lou. You see, Lou is not biologically my dad's, but she came bouncing (rather loudly I might add) into our lives 11 years ago, just before her 1st birthday. We call the same man "Dad". He helps her with her homework, he takes care of her, he taught her how to ski and ride a bike. He does all of the things with her that he did with me when I was a kid. Last year, Lou decided that it was time for her to be baptized which really meant a lot to her parents. As my dad was speaking at her baptism, he was choking back tears. My dad is not an overly emotional person. I've only seen him angry a few times, mostly because I caused it (another fact which makes me appreciate him more now). I've seen him cry even fewer times. The fact that he was so emotional and proud of Lou is just a testament to the kind of dad that he is. You don't have to share his genes in order for him to love you like you do.

It takes a very special person to be a daddy, I know because I have 2 of them in my life; my own daddy and my children's daddy. I can't wait to see what our daughter does to Charming Husband. I know that by the end of her 1st day here on earth she will have her daddy wrapped around her tiny little finger, and by the time he walks her down the aisle they will be just as close as me and my daddy are. I can only hope that she figures it all out a little sooner than I did.

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