Thursday, June 05, 2008

A relatively excellent dad to your (little) girl

Our society's expectations for fathers aren't very high. This makes it easy to look pretty good! If you want to be a Super-Dad, you can buy books full of wisdom and sage advice, like the Clarks' Daughters and Dads, but here I'll just share a few quotes from real daughters, and make a few observations.
My dad is a hero because he pays attention to me.
—words on a paper-cup "trophy" in a father's study

I was home from my first semester of college, and I had so much I wanted to tell my parents—about the people I'd encountered, the things I'd learned, the experiences I'd had. But my dad hid behind his newspaper--he even lifted it higher. He didn't seem to want to know me. I felt invisible and so hurt.
—remembering a long-ago morning
Your little girl will be gone soon. So will mine. We've got them for such a short time; I hope our little girls will be like the first one above.
Dad, from now on (sniff), when I'm crying (sniff, sniff), would you please not say anything that's logical.
—a grade-school girl, in response to Dad's simple 4-step plan to solve her problem

I am stressing over my test tomorrow.... I pace around the house and practically wail. And my dad knows. I go to him and sit on his lap and hold his hands and feel the calluses on them. I feel the stubble on his chin like I used to do.... I place his big hands on mine and that choking sensation in the back of my throat settles down.
—a high school student
Every little girl has problems now and then, and we want to solve them for her. But sometimes advice (logical or otherwise) is the last thing she wants; sometimes she just needs to know that we believe in her.
I wish [my dad] would have been protective like that.

My Dad isn't really someone that give much insight into how to apply situations to my faith etc.
— a college student
She still wants protection from us, and our wisdom and guidance for her spiritual journey. Offering those to her without giving advice is tricky, but as you know, being a dad isn't for wimps!

Every morning when I rise sleepy-eyed, dull brain, messy hair and over sized t-shirt, my father finds me and smiles as I am the most beautiful thing in the world, gives me a hug. "Good morning", he says.
— a high-school student
I hope every little girl can feel that Dad is a fan.

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