I have a daughter that turns 12 today. She came into my life as close to an alien as possible. I could hold her in one hand and she looked exotic enough to give me pause. The gravity she created from her tiny body was impressive and each and every sound her little body made was enough to turn my head and make me wonder what she was communicating.
I was that guy who would shy away from holding other people’s babies for the mere fact that I didn’t want to make a friendship ending and publicly mortifying mistake with someone else’s child. Soon though, I had my daughter lying on my arm like a log, with her head in my hand, arms and legs dangling. I would carry her like that around the house while I did other things and she would sleep soundly.
I had an epiphany with her, as I stared into those deep brown eyes and tried to imagine her future. I realized she was the reason for my life. Up until that point I was clearly in it for myself. My wonderful wife was my companion in this life, but my new baby girl was, by far, now the center of my reason for living. In a split second, metaphorically, my head exploded and then reversed course and reorganized itself.
Career, vocation, hobbies, church, family, friends, recreation and anything that had any priority on my long list of priorities was reworked to have my baby girl as their purpose. I have younger twin sisters, and I appointed myself as their guardian and protector of their innocence as a 4 year old, but I had graduated with the birth of my child. I was now a full-fledged, armored up, growling, hair flowing in the wind, mighty warrior for the sake of this little princess’s livelihood and happiness.
I terrified many boys searching for the chance to date my sisters and although I’ve learned many lessons about how to be there for the ladies in your life, I still can’t help but see every male with any possible interest in my girl’s life as a voracious, blood dripping from fangs predator. I’m doing my very best to be a smart father though.
I’ve learned that I’m ok with mistakes and embarrassing moments. I’ve learned that I’m ok with some pain, as long as it is productive pain. I’ve learned that sometimes embarrassing my daughters is the best part of my day. I’ve also learned that I want my daughters to trust me so that they have the ability and incentive to share anything with me.
I find it reassuring that my heavenly father measures my moments. I have faith that he knows my heart, knows my faults and sees my weaknesses. I have no doubt that he desperately wants me to make good decisions and come out successful and happy. But, like my daughters and I, he’s ok with me learning a lesson or two to make me a better person. He wants me to find trust and the ability to come to Him for anything. I can have faith that I am the center of his universe and he’s big enough to carry all of us in his arms.