Daddy's Girls Will Rule the World

Friday, June 19, 2015

My heart melts when my daughter reaches her tiny arms up to me and asks to be picked up. But when she wraps those same tiny arms around her father's neck for a giant hug, well my heart bursts into a million pieces. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing my daughter and husband together. As much as I crave her love, I hope that she becomes a daddy's girl. Speaking from experience, I know how special that relationship is and how impactful it can be on a girl's life.

As a father of two girls, my Dad was always surrounded by women. And never once did I think he would have wanted it any other way. I grew up playing with dolls but also learning how to toss a ball and catch a fish - we even baited our own hooks. I loved tea parties and playing in the mud and my Dad enjoyed spending time with me, no matter what we did.

If there is one thing that I am most thankful for from my Father, it is his time. I could not have asked for a more attentive or caring father. He always took time off from work for family vacations, he made family dinner a priority and he took pride in not only attending his daughter's sporting events, but he coached them too. Looking back, I think he must have had some magic spell to stop time, because I don't know how he did it all.

Being a daddy's girl, I enjoyed doing things with my Dad and pretty soon many of my hobbies were his too. I started running the Popcorn Panic with him when I was in middle school (a tradition we've kept to this day), he was my basketball coach starting in Fifth Grade, we both loved roller coasters and we even attended Space Camp together in Florida. The most pivotal of these activities for me growing up was basketball.

My Dad and I loved basketball. We would travel to watch the Valparaiso high school teams play in championship games, I was a ball girl for the Valparaiso University women's basketball team and to this day my Dad is one of the biggest Crusader fans I've ever met. It didn't take much begging to get a hoop put up at the end of our driveway where many games of horse were played. We ran drills, practiced plays and I learned how to shoot - not like a girl, but like a basketball player.

As my basketball coach and father, my Dad instilled in me confidence and character. I may not have been the best player on the court, but I always knew that I belonged there. From the basketball court to the game of life, I have never once thought that I couldn't do something because I am a girl. On the contrary, I've always thought that I could do anything I wanted because my Dad and Mom believed in me.

I always knew that when I decided to become a parent, I would only do so knowing that my husband and I would share parenting responsibilities 50/50. Just because father's don't "give birth" to their children, doesn't make them any less of parents. Growing up with an active father, I knew the importance of a father in a child's life and that I wanted that for my children. One of the characteristics I love most about my husband is his desire to make others happy. I had a feeling he was going to make a pretty terrific father, but I had no idea just how fantastic a father he would be.

I pray our daughter looks up to him the same way I look up to my Dad and that she wants to share in his interests and will inherit a strong sense of self from their relationship. And I hope that she grows up thinking that no one could ever be as special as her Dad, so that when she does fall in love, it will be with someone truly worthy of her. It worked for me.

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