Father’s Day about dads and daughters, too
I’m going to talk about dads and daughters today. Dads and sons are important and having a son has been one of the great privileges of my life. But we have a real need in the world today for better relationships between fathers and daughters. So here goes.
Remember dad, you’re the first man your daughter ever loves and nothing can ever change that. You might think you want a little boy first but when that first one is born and it’s a girl, trust me, you’ll be fine.
I remember everything about the birth of my first child, a little girl. With her first breath, she owned me — had me wrapped around her little finger. And she still does.
My daughter was everything I could ever have wanted. She loved me even though I really had no clue what I was doing.
She loved doing whatever I loved doing. She tolerated me when I sometimes gave her reasons not to. She was my shadow, willing to go anywhere with me.
She played sports when it might not have been fun. She learned to love my hikes and camping trips when that might not have been her favorite thing to do.
She was perfect in every way. And nothing has changed.
In middle school, she let me be a part of her life at a time when hanging around with your dad might not have been so cool.
In high school, she sought her own way and became her own person and that was wonderful.
In college, she applied herself fully and immersed herself into the college experience, becoming a scholar and a star athlete along the way.
She’s tall and fit and moves with a grace and even at times with a little swagger that I could watch all day. She’s smart and a good mom and has done some things lately that I find heroic (she’ll just have to tell you about that).
I don’t understand not being wholly devoted to your children, regardless of their gender. I know of one grandad who has a distinct and easily observed preference for the boy-grandchild, even neglecting the girl-grandchild. Maybe he never had a girl.
Dads, take care of your daughters. Love them, honor them, protect them, cherish them.
Play ball with them. They won’t break. In fact, it’s just as important (if not more so) for you to run and hit and throw with your daughter as it is with your son.
Tell her how beautiful she is. I don’t tell my daughter often enough. I hope she knows it.
Dad, love her and she’ll love you like no other. And then one day she will fall in love with the new most important man in her life, and that’s OK too.
Happy Father’s Day to me.
Joe Black, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC is a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Total Rehabilitation and is Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for Blount Memorial Hospital. Write to him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)