Everybody knows one. Every family has at least one. Usually the baby. Or the only girl. Sometimes the oldest, the apple of the dad’s eye. The daddy’s girl. The princess. The girl who, in her daddy’s eyes, does not falter. No matter what she has done, she’ll always have her daddy. The porch light will always be on so she can find her way home. Her daddy knows she’s not perfect but his love of her is unconditional. It will never waver. I want to be clear that I am not talking about the obnoxious self-proclaimed daddy girls. Those are bratty adults who run to their fathers when they don’t get their way. I’m talking about those females who have a strong bond with their father that can not be severed. Yes, they will admit they are a daddy’s girl but it’s usually only to close friends in a whisper.
My family is a bit different in its dynamic. We have three daddy’s girls. Not the oldest, not the youngest, not the middle. But all three. In my experiences of observing other families, there’s just one. Not here. No way. It is a phenomenal thing to watch. The bond between my husband and daughters is great. He became our oldest daughter’s father when she was two. They buddied up and left my in the cold many times. Still do. Video game nights and “gamer” talk. (It really is another language) They clung to each other looking for the love that each of them was lacking in their own lives. He has stood by her side like a titan challenging anyone to step forward. I dread her dating years. Letting her grow from one stage to the next has left him in secret tears about how his baby is getting grown.
Our next daughter is his fishing partner. They can sit quietly for hours. (Which is an extraordinary event since this daughter is NEVER quiet). There are no awkward silences. They are content just sitting in each others company. They both share a love of exotic animals and go to shows to see them. Nights of them talking about poisonous snakes or other invasive species being released into the environment are plentiful. He was willing walk away from all of his family (without blinking an eye) when they were extremely difficult when she came into the world. He encourages her extreme individuality that she strives for. He loves her with all of her quirks irregardless of what the rest of the world thinks.
Our youngest is his wrestling partner. The walking buddy.This daughter loves to dine with her daddy. She loves to eat potato wedges with him. Sounds goofy but this kid won’t eat wedges with anybody but her daddy! She’s still young but I already see the indestructible bond.
Every Valentine’s Day, they get a card, candy, stuffed animal and flowers. Report cards is usually dinner of choice or a blizzard. Birthday’s are a ridiculous fiasco that end up with me telling him to tone it down a bit which is always meet with, ‘we only have so many birthdays til we aren’t cool just please let me enjoy this’. Easter baskets are a joke. Yes, I buy the fillings but it is never right or enough. I don’t even want to go into Christmas season. He will get them flowers just for the heck of it. Even if they are from the yard.
I used to worry he was setting them up to fail. They’d be one of those “well my daddy will do it” women. But then, I heard him one day as he gave them flowers he had picked from our yard. He told them to close their eyes and remember the feeling in their heart. The light clicked on for me. Even after he’s gone, they only need to close their eyes and his love would always be there for them.
They are daddy’s girls. They won’t admit it out loud. They are lost without him this week while he has been in the hospital. My girls are the love of his life. He is showing them standards I could never get across to them. I’d sound like a naggy mom. But in his behaviors, he is teaching them to hold that bar a little higher. To make standards in their lives and to hold to them. I know some people reading this will disagree. But I see it with my daughters. The confidence they have. They emit pride and purpose. No they are not perfectionists. They are just unconditionally loved by a wonderful man who just so happens to be their father.