For as long as I can remember I have been referred to as a ‘Daddy’s Girl’, always tagging along with my father wherever he went. My mother often tells a story of playing lookout and alerting me whenever my dad was leaving, just to watch me stumble over anything impeding my path to the door to ask if I could come along.
As I grew older my infatuation transformed into a deep respect, admiration and love for my father. He was the first gentleman I knew and he set the bar for guys when I grew old enough to start dating. Although I didn’t acknowledge it until I was in college, my father never argued with my mother in my presence or even raised his voice to his children. He was very interested in our interests and activities, always playing an active role in our development. As an educator my father valued his children’s education very high and dedicated many nights and weekends to teaching us new and interesting things. We would spend our summers traveling all over the country on road trips for sporting events, making sure to visit every historical landmark and museum. All along, whether he knew it or not, he was being more than a great father to me. He was being a great example, which would become my blueprint later in life.
Once I began dating, I quickly learned I was not like my friends, interested in the attention of any boy that looked my way. I never experienced the ‘boy crazy’ phase because I had been showered with attention and love from my father my entire life. I was drawn to interesting guys that were interested in me and my interests. I was not impressed by dinner and a movie, instead I wanted to learn something new or experience a new place. Thankfully, this scared away the guys that were not that into me, this was far too much effort for someone that didn’t really care. I subconsciously had developed standards, benchmarks and expectations that were never explicitly taught to me, but I learned them from my father’s love. I learned what it felt like to be loved from my father and that feeling could never be imitated by anyone. For that I am forever grateful to my father, although I’m sure he was just as infatuated and in love with me as I was with him growing up.
As I start my own family I am often reminded of the blueprint my father laid out for me when I look at my husband. It is a bit creepy at times how much he is like my father with his nuances and hobbies, they even resemble each other. I will mention, for my husband’s sake, that because my father could see my interest and love for him he too took an interest in him and developed a relationship with my husband early on. So it is possible that some of those nuances that can sometimes drive me crazy were picked up from my father post-marriage. Regardless, I am happy to have a father so interested in my life that he dedicated himself to being an example for my future. I listened and following his blueprint has been the best decision of my life thus far. I am, always have been and always will be a proud Daddy’s Girl. For all the ‘Daddy’s Girls’ there is a book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad: A Hundred Reasons. Put your own spin on it and write personal notes below each number, it is a great, sentimental gift idea.