Sunday, June 17, 2007


The man I live with, am married to, and love, is already a father. His little girl means the world to him, and watching her grow up this year has been hard for him. She has hit that growth spurt where childhood sails into the background and young adult takes the lead. The teasing and tricks he used to pull on her no longer fly; she has got his number. The nicknames have become something for her to roll her eyes at instead of a giggle draw.

While Lovely and I were out and about yesterday, she asked me why he still called her "the little poopy stink." I told her that it was hard for daddies to let their little girls grow up, and that there would be a part of him that would never completely let her do so. She thought about it for a minute and then said, "But mothers like seeing their little girls grow up. Why is that?"

I was afraid she had stumped me, and maybe my answer isn't right for her mother; I don't know her mother. But I told her that mothers are looking forward to their daughters becoming their friends. Daddies love taking care of their little girls. It's just different.

Part of me has always found some way for my daddy to still take care of me. It has been his advice that I turned to. His approval. His support. Even though I am fiercely independent by nature, I love the bond of Daddy and daughter. To him, being needed is the same thing as being loved, and I have been happy to oblige.

This Father's Day, I called my daddy to tell him that I love him. He is no longer able to offer advice. He is no longer able to be an ear for when things go wrong. Some days, he is no longer able to figure out which end of the phone to put to his mouth. I can hear him talking off in the distance somewhere, and I know he's got it either upside down or backwards again.

What he can still do though is invaluable. He can still love me. And he does. He can still ask how my family is. He can still ask how my dogs are. He can still tell me about his day and how is feeling about himself lately. And although the care taking has shifted from daddy to daughter, the relationship isn't really all that different. He is still my daddy. He is just my daddy who is sick.

They say that women often marry a man who is like their father. In my case, it is true. I see a lot of the qualities that I love about my dad in my husband. Guy is a lot sillier. He is more career driven. He is less interested in church. But there are very basic traits that the two of them share. I think it explains why I was drawn to him so very quickly and knew from the get go that when he said he wanted to be with me, that I needed to jump.

So today, as I sit incubating, I am so thankful to have had a daddy like mine. And I am thankful that my child will have a daddy like Guy.