Daughters are a journey. It starts with them calling you Dabo and hanging on every word. They want to grow up to be just like you. Then there comes a day, a time when the name for you is Daaaad a drawn-out sarcastic affectionate. The moment when your daughter no longer waits at the window to see if daddy is home (or Dabo). When in fact, your daughter, respects who you are but wonders if you were as smart as you thought you were. Then comes a time, when your daughter stops, she realizes that dad is more than an ATM. Dad is more than someone to fix things or make things go away. Like Bats flying in the house, or spiders on the wall. Dad’s have something else to give.
That is the journey for a father and a daughter. The path isn’t always clear. I will tell you that for me the change started the night our daughter was born. I carried her around the ward at University Hospital for an hour or so while my wife slept. The nurse said I had to let my daughter sleep, so I put her in her arms and then stood and watched through the window as she went to sleep. Daughters, sons, children you watch them. Each moment, each breath they take changes the world around you. You wish nothing more than to be 10 foot tall and keep the world at bay. IT is a compilation of events that make up the growth of a child. But of those events changes the parent as well.
I am the product of those changes. So is our daughter. She is the outcome of Cincinnati, Greenwood, and then Maryland. She is the outcome of the Center Grove School system, but also the outcome of her friends and of course her mother, brothers and me (a little bit), That outcome is the thing that makes me proud. But more than proud. Dad goes, from 10 feet tall, to human. In becoming human dad becomes less but more. In that transition I can now watch my daughter as a friend. My mother once told me, “If I had known this grandparent thing was so much fun, I would’ve have skipped the whole parent thing.” My mom has a great sense of humor.
I would trade the days that passed for anything.