Today is National Daughters Day. I was unaware there was such a thing until I saw it all over Facebook this morning. It sounds a little like a Hallmark Holiday to me, but I'll take any chance to celebrate my daughter, or my son for that matter. (I am looking into whether there is a National Son Day, and if there is, I'll expect a Hallmark card, mom.)
A father/daughter and father/son relationship is incredibly important. Not everyone has a good one to speak of. I am painfully aware of this - due in part to my own experience. No parent has a rule book. We all just make it up as we go. Knowing that I did what I consider my best and, well, now she's on her own, and independent, and I think she's going to be okay.
I will confess that there are a number of moments in my life with her that I will always carry.
1. The ride home in the car in a blinding snowstorm the night after she was born. That was me crying like a big dope, blinded by snow. The weight of joy and love just sort of overtook me.
2. Standing on the dock at a lake up in Hackensack, Minnesota while she caught sunfish after sunfish. Her love of fishing was born on that dock, of that I am convinced.
3. That squeaky violin recital in grade school. Her turn in front of the crowd was as rough as the rest, but absolutely beautiful music to her parents' ears.
4. Watching her play freshman volleyball in high school. She agreed to play because we told her she needed to try a sport. Well, she pretty much hated every minute of every game, but she finished. I give her total credit for that. Some kids are jocks. Some are not. Parenting 101.
5. Seeing her off to prom her junior year. No father is really ready for that and I was no different.
6. Watching her walk for her college graduation. It doesn't get much better than watching your kid graduate from your alma mater.
And with any child, it takes a village. I am grateful to have a family that supported her all along. She had aunts and cousins and almost-aunts that loved her as much as we did. All of that pays dividends when you see what your child has become. All I know is I am a lucky father.