To Dads with Daughters

To Dads with Daughters

To Dads with Daughters…

If you’re anything like my husband, then your first thought when you found out your wife was expecting was, “Oh sweet! Now I’ll have someone to play catch with!” or “Awesome! A new golfing buddy!” 

And then you found out you were having a girl.

You weren’t disappointed. You just needed a little time to get used to the idea of dolls and dance recitals instead of dump trucks and dinosaurs.

But I’m also guessing that shortly after she arrived, you quickly forgot about all of those things as you were immersed into the wonder that is little girls. You forgot all about your cars and your sports as you dove headfirst into the world of tutus, tea parties, and feelings.

I’m sure it didn’t take you long to realize that, little girls? They’re pretty wonderful.

And throughout your life, you’ll get to experience all of the special moments that only a daddy and his daughter share. 

When she’s small…

You’ll be her hero.

You’ll be her knight in shining armor, the man who saves her from spiders and the monsters under her bed. You’ll twirl her through the air, cuddle with her on the couch, comfort her, scratch her back, and let her have just one more sweet treat after she flashes you that irresistible toothless grin.

She’ll let out one of her high-pitched squeals, jump for joy, and come running into your arms every day when you get home from work.

She’ll make you a better athlete, because after 573 games of hopscotch, your agility, balance, and finesse will be top notch. 

She’ll teach you to be a better salesman, as she flashes that winning smile to the customers at her lemonade stand and shows you just how far a little kindness can go.

She’ll teach you to swallow your pride and embrace your inner Michael Jackson as you dance across the stage at your first daddy-daughter dance.

You’ll never run out of songs to sing at karaoke, because you’ll know every word to every single Disney song ever written.

You’ll live a life full of endless hugs, sass, laughter, and “I love you’s”.

And she’ll make you a better man.

When she’s grown…

You’ll be her hero. 

You’ll be her knight in shining armor, the man who supports her crazy dreams and saves her when her car breaks down. You’ll be the man who always makes her feel beautiful, reminds her to update her license plate stickers and speak nicely to her mother, and who never lets her leave the house without a can of pepper spray.

She’ll be your pride and joy as she walks across that stage in her cap and gown.

You’ll be the first one she’ll call when the faucet at her new apartment starts leaking, or she needs advice on buying a car.

She’ll value your opinion, and seek your approval as she embarks on her future, and introduces you to the man she has fallen in love with.

You’ll be the man she wants by her side when she walks down the aisle, and you’ll be overwhelmed by her beauty when she does.

She’ll surprise you with her wise and selfless choices.

She’ll teach you to be a better listener as you sit back, relax, and enjoy her company while she does all of the talking.

She’ll never forget to call on your birthday, Father’s Day, and every other day in between.

She’ll remind you so much of her mother in the way she nurtures and loves the people around her, and knows how to make everyone feel at home with a warm meal and welcoming arms.

You’ll live a life full of endless hugs, sass, laughter, and “I love you’s”.

And she’ll make you a better man. 

And in your old age…

You’ll be her hero.

You’ll be her knight in shining armor, the man who saved her from spiders and the monsters under her bed. The man who supported her crazy dreams and rescued her when her car broke down. And as she twirls into the room, cuddles with you on the couch, comforts you, scratches your back, and offers you just one more of the sweet treats she made you, you’ll flash her a toothless grin as you realize just how wonderful life has been.

Because you lived a life full of endless hugs, sass, laughter, and “I love you’s”.

Because she made you a better man.

And in that moment, you’ll thank God for the little princess who made you a king.


(Ps. For the record, I happen to think those of you with little boys are equally blessed. As a matter of fact, I wrote another post a lot like this one, To Moms with Sons)

 

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58 Comments

    1. Margaret Lee

      To Bill Alec: If you read Patrick K’s letter below, I think you will know you can humbly erase your comment, as it does not apply to all. May you be blessed to be healed of the memories you have that prompted you to write what you did. I feel sorry that it affected you the way it did…and will pray for your healing. Bless you!

  1. David Lawhorn

    Everyday of my life you become more of a Treasure in this Pirates bootty chest. Think you for my gift of YOU . Love you more than Aug. 7th.Lol Your Dad.

  2. Becca

    This is so amazing. I am becoming an adult, and as soon as I read the “grown” part I started balling. I’m dad left us, and this is so touching. Ment so very much, thank you!

  3. This article really touched my Heart and ill give a brief reason why. While most guys want a son I always dreamed of having a daughter. Was to wild for many years to pursue it but finally married at 38 to a girl I barely knew. Shortly after she became pregnant and we found out it was the little girl I’d always dreamed of. Things got rough and one morning I got up and my wife was gone and 7 monthes pregnant. No warning, no note nothing. She hadn’t broken any laws so there wasn’t much I could do. But mentally it devastated me and I came close to a complete meltdown. My wife was an extremely heavy drinker and having a child inside her did little to change that so I was only concerned about my unborn child. I finally pulled myself together and got back on track vowing that someday my little girl would surface. Well about a year ago I received a letter from Juvenile Court, Gwinnett Ct, Ge. It was to inform me that my wife, never divorced for a reason, lost custody and my daughter was in Foster Care. My name wasn’t on Birth Certif because her Mother didn’t want to leave a trail for me. But I never divorced because I knew at some point this would probably happen. When the Courts found out I was the Legal Father they were shocked to hear that I not only wanted custody I was prepared to do whatever it took. There were allegations of abuse and drug abuse against me from her Mother none of which she couldn’t prove so the Courts and Family Services investigated and found it all untrue. I talked to my daughter for the first time shortly after and it was the most precious voice… And after a few more calls and a Skype visit I was approved to go to Atlanta for a 3 day visit. Would like to note she was taken from the home for the physical abuse that her mother was charged and convicted of and allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of the guy she thought was her Daddy. But when we finally met for the first time she ran off the elevator at a dead run and jumped on my lap and it was like we had never been apart. Everyone down there was nothing short of amazed at the Bond we shared after 7 years of being apart. I used to lay my head on moms stomach and talk to my little girl every night and she always kicked and moved when she heard my voice and I firmly believe it was buried in her sub-concsious. Long story short I was granted custody last Aug and I finally got my baby home. I’m 47 years old now and raising my 8 year old daughter. She my only child and I’m single so its me and her. I gave up a lot but rejecting or turning my back on my little girl was never an option. She’s breathed new life into me and life has purpose and meaning. I might not know all the right things to teach her but I damn sure know all the wrong things to educate her about and steer clear of. I know all the words to “Frozen”, learning how to braid hair and can polish nails like a pro. She painted mine Pink and I wear them proudly because my little girl polished them. Ill never get tired of hearing”I luv u daddy”. I know I’ve got a long road ahead but I’m teaching her now that ill always be there. Teaching her to be honest. And give others the same respect u want. This our first summer together so Dad gonna show her how kids should grow up. Fishin, swimmin, playin in the mud, bike rides and a bunch more. So they can have there Golden Years. Being a Daddy is more valuable then all the Gold in Ft Knox.

    1. Laureen

      Oh Patrick,
      God bless you for preparing your life to raise your daughter even before you knew where she was, and for sacrificing everything else to raise her and love her.
      I pray you have a wonderful first summer together!

    2. Sue

      Patrick, your story is beautiful. I wish u and your daughter years of happiness. My son also has his daughter and he is an amazing daughter. My granddaughter had a liver transplant, and her mother don’t want anything to do with her. She has all the love and support she needs from us. We need more fathers out there like u and my son.

  4. Verity Jones

    This totally made me relive my childhood. My dad was always there to make my crazy life more sane (and save me from those spiders!).

    And Patrick, I’m so glad you were reunited with your daughter. Have a wonderful and memorable first summer!

  5. THOMAS PITTMAN

    I could not be more blessed to have my three wonderful daughters. I love them being “Daddy’s Girls”. They have filled my life with joy and pride. They will always be my three blessings and I thank God for letting me participate in their lives. Love you all, Daddy!!
    This post was great because it lets people know that Mothers are great but Daddies are just as great and important in a child’s life.

  6. 1st this was amazing! I did not have all those feelings about and with my dad,but he was there in my life all the way to the end. He died just 8 months ago and I miss him so much that I can’t breath at times! Next I have 6 wonderful children (3of each boy/girl) and married for 32 years to a father much like the one in the poem talks of, we are so blessed to have all 6, and that they can say they experience the love like this with not only there daddy but there grandfather,cause my dad did later through living with us grew to be for my girls.

  7. Charlotte Smith

    As I was reading this I was thinking of all the times that I was right by my daddy’s side. My family also said I should have been a boy. I loved doing things with my dad. He was my hero. I miss you daddy so much. I will always be daddy’s little girl no matter how old I get. He had to have both legs amputated before he passed away but I know he is walking those streets of gold in heaven. To my hero I love you…

  8. This post just made me cry giant man tears. The tears of a tired daddy of a month old beautiful daughter. I love my Rebekah with everything that I am, but sometimes it’s easy to tell yourself that you’re role isn’t as important as mom’s. This post has re-energized me to be the man and father my wife and daughter deserve. Thank you for this. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cuddle and hold my baby girl…

  9. Steve Brewster

    All that, plus she was my muddy-buddy, played ball, fished, hunted, worked on cars, rode on a dusty old bed spring I pulled behind the truck to level a yard, then – – – cleaned up, dressed up and knocked everybody’s eye out on the way to the prom. God knew what he was doing when he made that one!!

  10. Beth

    This is sweet–but when my daddy found out he was getting a girl for his first child, he did get someone to play catch with and a new golfing buddy. My absolute favorite memories are of my dad coaching my softball team and having competitions in the back yard to see how many catches we could make in a row and even if he failed miserably to teach me to golf well, he still tried and I wanted to learn because he’s my dad. Today, we still text throughout baseball games that we watch together because I grew up at the ball field learning to keep score from my best buddy, my dad. So, just a reminder to dads who might just be learning that they are having a daughter, it doesn’t necessarily mean tutus and glitter–it can absolutely mean red clay and cleats as long as you’re willing to teach her those things.

  11. Ryan

    And yes being the single father, raising a teenage girl (and teenage boy) is hands down the greatest experience of my life so far. I couldn’t ask for better kids. They’ve helped me become more of a better man than they could possibly know..

  12. Ben

    Thank you so much for this. I’m currently deployed in the Pacific Ocean for another 3 months and I’ve been away from my 3 year old daughter–almost 4–since January. This definitely made me tear up quite a bit as I see her dancing through my mind and remembering all the times we’ve had; and the times we will have when I return home.
    Thank you again. This really touched my heart.

  13. Ron

    My daughter shared this with me because when she read it, she said it reminded her of me………….what can I say to her that she hasn’t already heard millions of times – I love you soooo much!
    And now she has a little daughter and her husband will be the best daddy yet!!

  14. Maria Goretti

    this is just so well written, my hubby and I are so fortunate to have 3 gorgeous girls! This definitely hit pulled the heart strings! on top of that these comments hit my tearducts too! God bless you all!

  15. Jaye

    Why can’t DAD be the one who teaches her how to nurture and love people and why can’t DAD be the one who welcomes people into the home with a warm meal and welcoming arms? Dads have a lot more to offer than how to fix a faucet and reminders about license plate tabs. Mums and Dads can both teach their children these things…

  16. Angela

    Jackie, I feel the same way. I didn’t have any of this from my father. As a matter of fact, I don’t know what it’s like to have the love of a father. My daughter has everything a father could give his daughter, just like the article reads. My daughter calls her dad her best friend. I’m so glad that she gets to experience the love of a true father.

  17. Poppy

    What is this sexist garbage?
    This entire article is grossly offensive, plenty of girls are good at sports, in fact more would probably be interested in sports if they weren’t told from such a young age that they weren’t going to be paying catch, or that they would never be ‘dad’s golfing buddy’.
    The entire article should be re-written by someone who doesn’t see little girls as glittery pink bits of candyfloss who are there to teach men how to become ‘soft’.

    1. Emily

      I’m with you, Poppy.

      I stopped reading after dreams changed since he no longer has someone to play catch or golf with.

      Bullshit. Why can a daughter not play catch? Why not golf? Why wouldn’t you teach a daughter to use power tools, or love sports cars, or kill her own spiders (or put the spiders back outside to eat the mosquitoes?)? Why do girls not love dump trucks or dinosaurs?

      My husband is still the hero, and maybe even moreso because he has room for our daughters, and our son, to be who they are and love what they love – with and without the glitter. His dreams didn’t change when our daughters were born. They grew.

  18. mom

    I just have to point out that many, MANY girls DO play catch and DO play golf, DO love dinosaurs, DO love sports cars (and fishing and fixing things and math and science)…the strong gender line here is disconcerting if you are genuinely committed to raising strong and confident daughters.

  19. Jason

    That is an awesome post. I have 3 daughters and you hit the nail right on the head. I wanted boys at first, then had all girls. I have 3 Nephews and after seeing them play and the things they do…I am glad I had girls. Although, now my girls are teenagers and I wish I had boys now…lol.

  20. Maghmoed Davids

    So true coz we’ll always love our daughters no matter how much pain they may coz us coz they part of us. God created male and female to share responsibilities and grow toegether and the product is our kids. I remember the day i witnessed the day may daughter was born i was overwhelmed with tears coz i was blessed with her and i realised she was part of me my dna

  21. wesley sonnekus

    I can’t even begin to express the amount of love I have for my girls!!!a real tear jerker just reading this…with my little princess lying in my arms on the couch saying…I love u dad!!!God is great!!!he gives us what we need…not what we want!!

  22. LMJ

    THERE HAVE NEVER BEEN TRUER WORDS SPOKEN. FOR ALL OF US GETTING OLDER AND LUCKY ENOUGH TO STILL
    HAVE OUR DADS. I’M IN MY SIXTIES AND STILL SPEAK W/ MY DAD DAILY, ASK ADVISE AND STILL CALL HIM DADDY.
    IT IS SAD TO WATCH HOW AGE HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL BUT I
    AM AND WILL ALWAYS BE A DADDY’S GIRL. I COULD NOT HAVE ASKED FOR A BETTER FATHER, GRANDFATHER OR GREAT GRANDFATHER FOR MY KIDS AND G-KIDS. I THANK GOD DAILY THAT HE IS STILL HERE AND HOPE HE IS AROUND FOR MANY MORE YEARS.

  23. Daughter

    This article could be so sweet if it wasn’t so sexist. I SURE played sports with my dad. And I sure do think it’s sad and frustrating that girls are the only gender expected to go into ballet as a child. Also, my mom doesn’t cook. My dad does. And yes, they’re very much together, happy, and raising an amazing family. I have a great relationship with my dad and this article does not resonate with me.

    Cut the gender stereotypes, please.

  24. Jesse Young

    I lost my only daughter at 4 years old, just this past January. She was diagnosed with Leukemia last August. I will never experience most of these things.

  25. The Duke

    Poppy,
    Reading all the posts clearly evidence the vast majority appreciated that the meaning of the story is that daughters MAY be different than SONS… but they are equally special in a fathers heart.
    Why not publish you political views at a PRIDE forum.
    Always some jack@ss to steal others joy…. how sad for you…

  26. Sharon

    My son has a baby daughter born quite traumatically but he was there by her side throughout such a bond
    He has with baby Erin
    It Breaks my Heart to see him in such pain as he no longer is allowed to see her to hold her in the night when she wakes for a feed please help my son n absent fathers be able to have this bond with their little princesses to share her life most important times in her development as I write this I cry for baby Erin love you my Angel xx

  27. Marguerite

    I am not sure if this is article is supposed to be a lesson in the way girls should be, or how Dad’s should train girls to be, or in how men should anchor their self-identity in the neediness of others. Either way, it seems like a regressive interaction. Thankfully feminism has taken some of the sting out of the “damsel in distress” paradigm for women. But nevertheless the attitude in the article seems to be harking back to the old days when I was an adolescent and told by my school that women don’t study architecture.
    … The cover picture is one of passivity- a picture with a boy would undoubtedly involve play and activity. The body of the article literally frames up the girl’s major life events as falling in love with a man, looking beautiful, and calling Dad to come change a tap washer (not that it is hard to change a tap washer). ‘Pepper spray’ is her Dad’s recommended tool against predators because she is a potential victim. She has to be, because how else can he be a “knight in shining armour”?

    I love the irony of the line, ” She’ll surprise you with her wise and selfless choices” implying wise choices are unlikely. I would prefer to see, “She’ll occasionally surprise you with dumb, self-effacing choices.”
    The conclusion suggests girls need rescuing from real and imaginary things, need to be patronised for their “crazy” ideas (fancy a GIRL actually having IDEAS!-sarcasm), are fluffy, cooking, nurturing, twirling, back rubbing, home-makers who can manipulate through physical expression.
    The final sentence, ” you’ll thank God for the little princess who made you a king” is one in which the father’s sense of identity is dependent on the daughter playing the ascribed helpless, princess role. But hey- it is O.K. because “God” says so. Pretty sure this is a description of an irresponsible, dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship.
    Conspicuous in its absence is that girls are smart, strong, grounded, capable, and might aspire to something other than getting married and looking beautiful. Though, if that is what they want to do then that is o.k. too. The article is just rude on so many levels. I don’t care how much gushy, pink text has been used – the implicit message is disappointing.

  28. Steve Kopac

    Being a father of 3 girls, this made me cry. I gave them each kiss on their sleeping cheek before I went to sleep tonight. I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything different, they are my girls and the reason I wake up in the morning. Thank you so much for writing this. Love a touched dad.

  29. Jimmy

    Wow…just wow. I cannot believe how some of you are talking about this article. Calling it sexist, demeaning, demoralizing. I’m willing to bet that those of you that did are very miserable people. People like you that will always find something to bitch about. Especially when it involves the seperatation of male and female. Apparently you think guys like me are sexist for viewing my daughter as a princess or wanting so badly for her to be safe when I cannot be right next to her. Is that wrong of me to feel that way? Of course it is right? Men are the bad guys! The individual that wrote this article is the bad guy. We’re the sole reason for sexist behavior everywhere! So to put a stop to this I’ll make sure to tell my little girl she’s not allowed to great me at the door with a smile on her face anymore…I should make her change the oil in the car instead. Would that make yall feel better? Well naturally it would. In fact, why don’t the few of you soul-less people come over and help me paint her room from pinks and flowers to olive drab and cam netting. What the hell, why not? It gave my years in the military a more manly feel so why not go a head and immerse her in the testosterone filled world of grunts and oorahs.

    …On second thought, stay the hell away from my family. I want my little girl to be just that…MY LITTLE GIRL! If she wants to throw a football or kill a deer then by all means I will be more than happy to teach her a perfect spiral or help her sight up and put as much hot hate down range as her little heart can muster. Until then…until the day comes my little girl decides she wants help with those things, I’m going to let her make her own choices. Live the life she wants to live and shower her with pink bows and daddy advice in the process. So all of you nay sayers can get bent and pound sand. You people saying that I’m making my daughter the victim or portraying my own self as the hero because I put a can of pepper spray in her hand have got to be some of the most close minded, self righteous, blow hards on the planet.

    1. Layla

      Yes! Thank you Jimmy^^^ All of you haters are so close-minded. How sexist and hateful of YOU to assume that a childhood like the one in the story couldn’t possibly produce a strong and confident women. According to you, tea parties, tutus, looking to your daddy for protection, and being a girly girl are all inherently bad things?? Well, let me tell you, my relationship with my dad was much like the one in this post. And I grew up to be a strong, confident, independent women with a successful career, a wonderful marriage, and children who live a very happy life. Second of all, NO WHERE in this post did the author say she was going to list everything a girl can or cannot do. That was not the point of this article. The point is that a daddy and his daughter can share a very special bond, regardless of how that bond takes shape. How dare you all criticize the author for sharing her own personal experiences to get that point across. Get off your high horse. Just because it may not be how YOU grew up doesn’t mean it is wrong. And to criticize the photo – are you kidding me? If you can’t see the beauty in the photo of a daddy holding his daughter, you have serious problems. This is someone’s baby and husband and you are heartless. I feel bad for you and whatever happened to you in your life. It takes a lot of effort to go out of your way to spread so much hatred and criticism. I will pray for all of you who criticize, that you will open your eyes to just how close-minded and judgmental YOU are, and be healed of the wounds that have so obviously affected you in your life.

  30. Lyssa

    Sheesh, the feminist come out and gladly ruin everything. I’m all for women getting opportunities to whatever they want to do but guess what? I also believe that men and women are DIFFERENT and as such, they bring to the table different traits to make the world and relationships better. women have inherent traits! We are natural nurturers and there is nothing wrong with that!

  31. Tim

    Thisbis so true on many level. I always wanted a boy myself but nothing melts my heart like my 3 year old daughter. Shes the reason i keep striving and figting for more in my life and hers. I can honestly say ive become such a softy because of her and im totally ok with it. There is no greater feeling in life to see your little girl come running to you opened arms, so excited to see you and hold you tightly. I love my relationship with my little girl and its hard for me as i travel for work very frequently. (260 days last year) I cant explain it but all i know is god put her into my life and I thank him everday as I have become a better person and most of all a father.

  32. Mom

    To jimmy: calm down!!! If you think you are doing he right think there is NO need to be so rude and defensive! People have the right to want to raise their children differently and talk about those differences. Just as the writer has the right I write how she feels, the readers have the right to politely disagree.
    Now… The article is sweet but in all honesty, my husband does a lot of those things for our son! They cuddle together! My husband knows way too many nursery rhymes! Reads our son books! Plays with him and puts him to sleep. He is my son’s hero and I think dad’s can have a very similar experience with their sons if only we didn’t make everything about girls so glittery and Barby doll related.
    I never really liked playing with dolls growing up but had plenty of special times with my dad.
    I have no issues with this article. It’s simply the point of view of the writer but there are points of views out there that should also be respected.

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