To all the Dads of little girls. You know who you are. You may not always be the enforcer, or the rule-maker. You may not always be the one who keeps track of when the kids need a bath, or when their last poop was. You definitely don’t like to change those poopy diapers if you can get away with passing them along (I mean, who can blame you? I try to pass them off on someone else, too!). Yes, sometimes the easiest default answer is, and always will be “go ask your mother”. That’s how it was when I was growing up.
And as those daughters get older, there will always be those topics that you are uncomfortable with. Their first period, (“Dad, can you go buy me some tampons?” – Oh my poor father…) Sex. Boyfriends. Body image issues. The first time they want to wear a bikini. Who wants to think of their little baby girl doing things that don’t make her a little girl any longer?
But there’s something really special about a Dad of daughters. It’s the memories you make with us. It’s the way you are able to instill such confidence and self-worth in us just with your smile and approval. It’s the way you teach us, by how you treat us, that we are worthy of and can achieve anything in the world. That’s why it ‘s so important that you are active and a part of our lives. That you include us, hug us, teach us, encourage us, and love us.
You’re the ones who let us dance on your toes at weddings. The ones who let us have a little extra bit of ice cream even though Mom has said we’ve had enough. The ones who, when Mom wasn’t around to enforce the rules, would let us stay up past our bedtime just to play one more game, or read one more book. You’re the parent we would complain to when “Mom just doesn’t understand what it’s like!!!!”.
So here’s to the Dad who now has a bad back because he didn’t have the heart to say no when their kid asked for a horsey ride.
Here’s to the Dad who takes the time to teach us all of the important things in life, like how to be the master of Super Mario.
To the Dad who braves the worst snow storm of the year, just to see you smile and say “Wow!” as you experience the vast amount of white fluffy stuff.
To the Dad who knows better than Mom. Who knows that a box isn’t something to throw away. It’s a thing to make a fort for the day.
To the Dad who knows, that just because you’re the girliest girl in the world, it doesn’t mean that he can’t teach you to have an appreciation for his favorite team.
And to the Dad who raised the best father a girl could ask for, and then became a Great- Granddad. You’ve done more in your time here than you can know. She’s a lucky girl to get to sit on your lap and play with the “woof woof”. Thank you for being you.
You Dads make more of an impact on our lives than you could ever imagine. You’re the rock that we need when we’re feeling down on ourselves, or need someone to talk to. You’re the ones we rely on to teach us how to throw a ball, curse at a hockey game (at the appropriate moments), and how to be unafraid to take on challenges. The relationship we form with you, as daughters, will be the benchmark. How others treat us will depend on how you treat us, and the confidence you instill in ourselves.
Treat us well, but not as though we are delicate and incapable. Encourage us in our strengths and help us work through our challenges with conviction. Skip a playoff game to go to a ballet recital – seeing your face in the crowd cheering us on will be a memory etched in our hearts for a lifetime. Be present. Give us confidence in our bodies and our brain. Teach us the value of critical thinking, and not bending to social pressures. Stand up for what is right, so we can see your strength. It will give us strength in turn.
Above all else, tell us every day that you love us, and we will do our best to show you every day just how loved you are in return.
To the Dads with daughters – thank you.
You’re doing just fine. 🙂