OK, I’m a big Merlin Mann fan. Last week, Merlin posted an essay (language warning) that tells of the death of his father when Merlin was 7. He also tells of his own 3 three-year old daughter. That is the part that gets me. It hits too close to home.
My daughter is only a year older than his. She is a quintessential “Daddy’s Girl.” Every night at bedtime, “I want Daddy to put me to bed”. If she wakes up in the morning before I wake her, she yells, “DAAAAAAADyyy….oh DAAAAAAAADyyy, I’m awake!” When I get from work, she will run across the room to hug me while yelling “Daddy! I’m SO glad you’re home. I missed you.” This in spite of the fact that I normally go home for lunch, so our separation was is normally no more than about four hours.
A couple of weeks ago she said, “Daddy, I love you so much, I promise I’m never going to leave you.” Just a couple of nights ago, she mentioned that I missed her birthday party in December and asked if I would be there for the next one. I assured her I would be. Last night, as I was drying her from her shower, she told me, “Daddy, I missed you when you were here and we were in Denver.” Our family was reunited months ago (an eternity in 4-year old time), but that 4 month absence of me living in another state while we prepared to move still haunts her, but I know that is because she thinks the world of me (how intimidating is that?). It is a strange experience to be the center of someone’s universe.
I know one day she will stop calling for Daddy in the middle of the night. Someday she will not need me to just sit and hold her because she isn’t feeling well – or to sit and hold her because she is feeling well and just wants Daddy. Someday I will not get the kisses or feel those tiny arms hugging my neck as hard as she can squeeze. Someday she will not ask me to “do God bless you” and cross her forehead when I drop her off somewhere. And someday soon she will not need me to lay down with her before she goes to sleep. But she does all of that now and I love it every time.
That is why I make her breakfast most mornings even when I’m running late for work, and it is why I get her ready for bed almost every night – even on nights when I ask Honeybun to do it because I have a splitting headache (like last night) but cave in because she says, “I want Daddy to do it.”
Someday she won’t need Daddy to do things for her. But maybe someday she will read a much neglected blog and understand how much her Daddy loves her.
She makes me happy.