My Dad and I have a very special kind of relationship. In the early years of my life when the Fort McMurray economy was...well...kind of like it is now, he had the chance to stay at home with me for the majority of our days while my Mom worked full time. He worked on various construction projects for a really long portion of his career and our family knew the same fear and turmoil that many families in Alberta are facing right now...a whole thirty years later. While I can't begin to imagine the stress and anxiety this caused my parents at the time, I'm kind of grateful it all happened the way it did because it allowed my Dad and I to develop a different kind of relationship that I feel very blessed to have.
I think Dad's get an unfair advantage for being typed as the only "big, strong, burly" figures in our lives. Don't get me wrong, my Dad is still all those things to me but I know he also has a soft, kind heart. He's the kind of man who would always have my back growing up (and I knew it). He would never, ever hold me back from doing what I wanted to do because I was a girl (except maybe mow the lawn). And I think I can count on one hand in total the amount of times he's raised his voice at me...although looking back the majority of those times were probably because I was interrupting the Habs game. Or there was that one time I was caught smoking...ha!
So what's your point, you say? Well, I write all of this as an opportunity to honour the man that has helped shape me into the woman I am today but also to highlight the very real fact that yes, I DID marry my father (and why that's so important to me).
That right there is MY hubby (well, his hands). Trying so very hard to put his little girl's hair in a ponytail before school. He did a pretty good job, too, considering his lack of experience.
It's moments like these (and so many others) that confirm everything I personally know about Daddy and Daughter relationships. It's moments like these that make me so very thankful (and proud) that this is the man I chose to marry and raise children with. It's moments like these, and knowing how much he and my Dad are alike, that give me hope that my daughters will also choose a life partner that will cherish and respect and love them more than they could ever imagine.
|Because THAT's what it's all about...|
Our daughters (and sons) need to know that they are loved. Simply and truly. Not only if they're following the rules. Not only if they're behaving the way YOU want them to behave. Not only if they're doing well in school or life. Always....and in all ways. It's up to us as parents, regardless of our personal experiences, to make damn sure that happens.
So many Dads work their asses off for their families and get very little time to spend with the ones they love. They carry such a huge weight on their shoulders and have to navigate a very different world when it comes to raising daughters. Moms don't often help either by naturally being critical (hey, I'm as guilty as the rest of you). BUT if we just took a moment every now and then to appreciate all of these little moments, I think it would do the men in our world a great service and give them a chance to shine their light in whichever way they know how. And when they do, let it happen. Let the moments unfold without trying to control them. Let them be the big kids they are...because that is exactly what we need more of in this world. Truly.
Peace & Health,