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Daddy’s Girls

on June 17, 2012

I will never forget the first time my oldest daughter looked at me, fist on hip, and said, “Daddy would let me!”  She was about three and she was probably right.  From the moment of her birth she has had her father wrapped around her little finger. Mostly.  My husband and I are pretty careful about playing “Good parent/Bad parent”.  We’re a team. We have to be because we are out numbered: four to two.  We are always on the look out for “divide and conquer” because our goal, as I have stated before, is to be the last ones left in the house. So far it has worked pretty well and our children know better than to try to work one of us against the other because it never works. Even though we use this strategy,  I most unequivocally have two “Daddy’s Girls” in my house.  That isn’t actually a bad thing. They aren’t Daddy’s Girls in the spoiled tantrum throwing kind of way. They simply know that their dad adores them. He is a definite soft touch when it comes to them.  For example:  My husband is an “if it isn’t Ford we aren’t looking at it” kind of guy and I have a Pontiac G6 parked in my garage.  It isn’t my car.  It isn’t his.  Our daughter drives it.  Why? Because she liked it better than the Ford Focus that was the same price and she has REALLY BIG brown eyes.  Our youngest daughter got a smart phone at a way younger age than her older siblings.  Why? Her dad thought she’d like it for her birthday and she’s cute.  Yep – they can reduce their 6’4″ daddy to a pile of mush. I find it amusing. Mostly because I understand it.  I too am a Daddy’s girl.

I still call my father “Daddy” and I am not from the southern United States. People find that odd sounding coming out in my flat mid-western accented voice. (Particularly because I don’t call my mom “Mama” – shudder.)   My older siblings find it amusing. I can’t explain it any other way than that is what he is: my daddy. Daddy has a different connotation to me than “Father” or “Dad”. It’s a title that implies a closer relationship. A special relationship that has a special place in my heart.  My mom has often told me the story of how when I was less than a year old I contracted “the worst case of chicken pox of all time.” (her words – not mine.) I had them everywhere, was apparently pretty miserable (I don’t remember obviously) and was trying my best to make everyone around me equally miserable with my fussing and crying. According to her, my daddy would come home from work, pick me up and I would immediately quit fussing.  He soothed me when no one else could.  His presence had a calming effect on me.  It still does today.

My daddy is one of the most unique individuals I have ever met.  He grew up a farm boy: hard-working, strong, tough and yet is one of the gentlest men I’ve ever met.  He is soft-spoken.  I can remember someone observing once, “I bet your dad doesn’t have to yell at you guys.  He is so quiet that I’m guessing all he has to do is talk louder to get your attention.”  Absolutely right.  I don’t ever remember my daddy yelling unless he was trying to find us when we were outside. That was more of a “holler.”   He certainly never yelled because he was angry with us.  He had a “tone” that came over his voice when he was displeased.  That was enough. We got the message.  I don’t ever remember being “punished”, only “disciplined.”   There’s a difference.  Punishment usually comes from someone who is annoyed or angry with you. Discipline comes from someone who is trying to teach you something that will make you a better person.  Was he sometimes annoyed? I’m sure he was on more than one occasion but I never remember thinking he was angry with me.  I never remember being afraid of him.  I remember being afraid of disappointing him. Not because he had such high expectations or because he was so hard on us but because I just loved him so much that I didn’t ever want to let him down.  I have, trust me, on multiple occasions.  Those times I find it harder to forgive myself than to ask his forgiveness. He has always given forgiveness right away.  I have often said that I have a better understanding of the father heart of God because my earthly father has one.  I know no matter what I do, no matter where I go, no matter how bad I mess up, my daddy is going to be right there loving me when I am the most unlovable. I know he is never going to walk away from me because I am one of his and he is there until the very end. I can trust him. Depend on him. He’s my daddy.

I remember when I was little thinking that when I grew up I wanted to  marry my daddy.  Obviously as I got older I figured out that wasn’t possible but one of the greatest gifts my daddy ever gave me was that he showed me what to look for in a man.  He showed me by the way he lives.  He’s hardworking, never complaining about the work or the hours he puts in because it is more important to him to take care of his family.  He honored his parents. We moved back to the farm where my grandparents lived when I was quite young in order to help them be able to stay on the farm. That meant he commuted to his job on the rural roads for a half hour each way. Over the years my daddy had job offers that would have paid him a lot better and given him a better work environment but he turned them down.  It was more important to him to stay where he was and allow my grandparents to live out their lives on the farm that they loved.  He honors his wife.  I learned how a woman should be treated by watching the way my daddy treats my mom.  She’s the love of his life.  She is priceless to him and you can tell by the way he loves her, respects her and takes care of her. He loves his family more than himself.  We all giggle at how sappy he is getting in his old age, but it truly is sweet to watch Daddy’s eyes well up with tears as he watches his kids or grandchildren do something that they love and do it well. The tears come not only from the pride of who we are and our accomplishments but from the deep love he has for all of us.  He prays for us, encourages us, and shares his wisdom with us. He’s the anchor of our family and the one who has always made sure we felt safe during a storm.  He’s a daddy.

My girls have the great fortune of having a daddy much like mine.  One who is teaching them what a real man acts like.  How a real man should treat his wife and family.  What it means to be loved just because you are you. I love that.  It doesn’t bother me that they have a different relationship with their daddy than they do with me.  We have a lot in common, my daughters and I:

We are Daddy’s Girls


4 responses to “Daddy’s Girls

  1. gmapple says:

    So beautiful and So True

  2. Sherry says:

    Love this! I too have a Daddy!

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