“Daddy…I lost my best friend” said Sydney as I picked her up after school. She said it so casually that it caused me to turn and look my daughter in the eyes. That’s when I noticed her bottom lip trembling and her eyes were moist. Oh s#*t, I thought, now what do I do?
The normal male reaction to this situation is panic. Plain and simple. Jenny wasn’t around for guidance and I had those eyes staring at me, you know the eyes, of an angel. Pure like snow, with depth so deep and at this moment filled with hurt. PANIC!
Luckily I had just read a great book last week. The book is titled Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters (https://www.megmeekermd.com/books/) written by Meg Meeker, M.D. It is very easy for a father to brush this off casually and suggest that its girls being girls and get on with what he was doing. I chose to put some of my new-found wisdom(used loosely here) to use.
Daughters, and Sydney is no different, look to their fathers as superhero’s(yes I have mentioned this in the past but Dr. Meeker backs me up quite often in print). We are big, strong and wise and keep her safe from harm and make the world a better place for not only our daughter but all of the good people of the world. It’s true, actually if we don’t who will? Superhero’s don’t brush off hurt feelings and sad little girls with puppy dog eyes.
So I flipped my imaginary cape back(super hero, remember?) and knelt down and wrapped my super hero arms around my future and held her. I comforted her the best a big strong Daddy can for a moment and buckled her in to her seat in our Global Warmer(what else would a superhero be driving on this day?). On our way home I asked and she told exactly what happened and the result. Seems my angel spoke without thinking, words came out wrong and she hurt her friends feelings. As it was the end of the day she didn’t have a chance to apologize and make up. She was torn.
Once we arrived at the Dad Cave(kind of like the Bat Cave was to Bat Man but looks a lot like our house) Sydney and I had a plan of action and I was going to be helping. First call her friend…don’t have the number…call mommy…she’s not home…s#*t(again thought not spoken)…got her on the phone and Sydney explains what happened and how important it was to get the phone number, which was found in her room at her mom’s. The call was made…rats, voice mail. We left a message on her friends mom’s cell phone but never got a call back. Part two of our plan was to make a card for her friend. Sydney did all the clip art and wording and just asked that I help her lay it out. It turned out very well. We talked about how words can hurt and how she would have felt(you know empathy) and she understands today is going to try to explain to her friend what she meant vs what came out and hug and make up. That was the plan we will see how it goes. Boys are easier.
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is a great book. I would suggest it to any father who is raising a daughter. you get a new glimpse into the life of your daughter through her eyes. It is very eye-opening to say the least. From the very first paragraph to the last I was amazed. I laughed and cringed at some of the information. The whole point of this book is to explain the relationship of us fathers and our daughters and why WE are so important to THEM. Fathers are the strongest influence in our daughters lives, even more so than their mothers(mom’s calm down, read the book you will understand). We set the fences, the rules and the examples that protect and nurture her into knowing what a good man and healthy relationships are. She wants us to say no when it is appropriate and to hold our beliefs and not waver(she will thank us some day according to Dr. Meeker). She wants us to take her to church and share a faith, a faith that always offers hope and love. She wants us to be her superhero.