A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life. ~Irish Saying
Today my daughter turns seven and I woke up to her peeking through my cracked bedroom door with a smile waving at me. Ah youthful innocence. She was already dressed and ready for school, but I pulled her close and sang her a quiet “Happy Birthday” without waking her mother. I gave her a little kiss and she ran off to give me another 10 minutes of sleep until the snooze button wore off.
Being a dad of a daughter is tough. Just as much as I would imagine being the mom of a son. Although I saw how my dad interated with my sister and how my grandfather interacted with my mother, I’m not sure if either of those examples were good or even if I could be that kind of dad. My grandfather for sure was very male chauvinistic coming from the old country and treated my mom differently than her six brothers. For me, being the #1 son of the #1 daughter was like being an outcast because I didn’t carry the family name. I know my sister loved my dad, but I’m sure if I pressed her that she say she would liked to have been able to establish a relationship with her where he saw her as an independent strong woman. I don’t think that ever happened. Even when I asked my mother about if she thinks more about my dad or her parents, she said there is no competition. “Your dad would have been 80 this year and would have been wanting to go siurfing in Hawaii. My own dad was an SOB and he wouldn’t deny it”. Well it is true. Despite all the monetary and physical things my grandfaterh gave my mother, true father-daughter love and admirationwas not one of those things he shared with her.
Seven is not old, but I see my daughter growing quickly before my eyes. That loose tooth that she currently is sporting is like my lifeline to her younger years. Even now I see my awkwardness when we hug. Maybe I’m just too big to hug. We definitely have that bond as a parent and child but I want to take it to the father/daughter level. I don’t have that relationship I see her have with her mother. I feel more like a provider than a father. I’m probably going to pick up and start reading a book that I gave many years back to my own dad. “Fatherhood” by Bill Cosby. Maybe I can get some insight there.
Maybe I’m asking too much. Having my daughter give me a big hug and an “I missed you” after a long business trip or coming to me when she needs a little help with something. It just makes a dad feel wanted and needed. I’m sure it will develop more over time. They say boys are easy and girls are tough. There are those others that say when you have a son you worry about him but when you have a daughter you worry about everyone else’s sons. That may be true, but I first want to have a releationship with my daughter that I will know to serve as a basis for all men in her life. One where I can teach her independence and the ability to work with the opposite sex in a respectful and intelligent manner. Every successful woman I’ve met has said they had a positive role model in their own mother but a great relationship model with their own father. Its that relationship that I want to grow with my own daughter.
We still do have great times together. On our recent trip to Disneyland, my wife and I made a conscious effort so that I took my daughter on most rides and my son took my wife on all the crazy rollercoasters. I think my wife definitely got sick of all those crazy drops and our son had a good time watching the horror on his mother’s face. The highligh for me though was driving the Autopia cars with my daughter. I just fastforwarded myself 9 years and could imagine how our first driving lesson would go. It was a riot. And I think my daughter loved driving pops around. Yep, she’s daddy’s Little Girl.