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Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Truth About Dads and Their Little Girls

Written by Karen, a mom without a blog

I am a mother of daughters. I had three little brothers much younger than me growing up and I always knew I would eventually be a perfect mother of sons what with all of my experience! Right?

But no, it was not meant to be. Not only did I marry a man who had a daughter from a previous marriage (it should have been a hint), but once, twice, three times I pushed out a baby – a girl! My world is girly, dramatic, emotional, sweet and beautiful.

I wouldn’t change it for ANYTHING.

My husband is a DEVOTED father of daughters. He loves having girls. For example – it took us a while to get used to being pregnant 4 ½ years ago at the ages of 38 & 41. We thought we were done. The only way that he felt like he could be okay with having another baby is if it was another girl. (Not that he would not have adored a son, he just knew girls and knew his connection to each and every one of his daughters).

He loves his four girls with his whole heart. Anything goes wrong with them, he feels it down to his toes – he’s jelly – he can’t function normally. It’s weird. This is a man who is a jack of all trades – he can pretty much fix anything that happens in our house or with our appliances, electronics and even our vehicles! But give him a devastated daughter and it breaks him.

This does not make him weak – it makes him REAL. I know folks always talk about the extraordinary connection between Dads and their Daughters – but to know it is different than watching it unfold before you.

I have a connection in the deepest part of my soul to my dad. I always have. And seeing that manifest itself in my own little family between my husband and my kids is certainly something to behold.

My older girls have some of their best daddy times on the slopes of Utah’s incredible mountains. They take off on Saturday mornings with their coffee, hot chocolate and milk (depending on the age and tastes of the girls), their hostess mini-donuts (not powdered as to leave a mess on dad’s precious truck seats), and their essential drive-up-the-mountain, get-psyched-for-skiing music pounding. That is their world, one that mommy rarely, if ever shares in.

But I’m totally okay with it.

When they are deciding on their favorite dish to be cooked for their birthdays or for a good report card or a brave sports or musical performance – do you think they choose mom’s yummy sloppy joes or tuna melts?!? No – its dad’s cooking they crave.

I’m okay with that too.

The list goes on and on - the truth and advice and comfort and even wrestling (!) they seek (and receive) from their dad that is different in a strong, sweet way from what they receive from me. I’m grateful for that.

Now my husband is a nurse in a children’s hospital, so already he has a fatalistic view of health issues. Anything unusual with his daughters or me or even himself and he’s sure there’s something life-threatening in it! Then bring on a daughter with special health care needs four years ago and what do you think? Beside himself. Anxious. Depressed. End of the world kind of heartbreak.

But thank God, this little angel has thrived and has revealed to us the epitome of daddy-daughter connectivity. Each time she has any health problem, from a little cough all the way to a hospital stay – he is right there next to her – even if it is killing him. If there was ever any doubt of his soul being eternally connected to his littlest daughter in a unique way (there wasn’t), it would all be erased in one of the most precious moments I’ve seen in my nearly fifteen years of being a mother of daughters… it happened last weekend. Saturday night, chilling with our girls and my husband’s parents after dinner.

My husband has a talent that he shares with his oldest daughter and no one else in the family. My girls and I have tried and tried and tried to get the hang of it… to no avail.

You either have it or you don’t. My husband has entertained his girls (me included) for years with his ability to wiggle his ears. Some kind of muscles pop to life in his head that are able to pull those ears back and make them wiggle away!!!

So back to last weekend - we were trying to cheer up our four year old who was suffering from an energy-sapping cold and cough. She sat at the dinner table, barely eating with the droopiest eyes and saddest expression you’ve ever seen – she was the definition of miserable.

Her sisters were showing her their tricks, hand bending, finger popping, tongue rolling, etc. “Dad, show Penni how you wiggle your ears!” He did it to customary laughter. Then we asked Penni to wiggle hers. That pathetic little face didn’t change, her hands stayed still on her lap, but ever so slightly, the ears wiggled. You’d have thought we won the lottery. The table completely erupted – Penni about jumped out her chair with shock from the noise – but she was SO PROUD OF HERSELF. She had the biggest smile EVER, runny nose and everything.

She did it again and again to the delight of the whole family. I was in tears with laughter, joy and pride and was touched to my core. But the moment was felt infinitely deeper by another at the table.

Her daddy.

Dave and Penni who share a love for nature and ear-wiggling

Dave looking a little serious (because well, Penni's in the hospital)
while daughters Samantha (Sami) and Abby keep smiling


Thanks to my dear friend Karen for getting back on that writing horse and showing off her awesome husband, Dave. Hi Dave! Now can you guys please move back to LA already??

If you're a mom without a blog, and you want to write, we're here for you. Read all about it up there and email me if you're game.

And TOMORROW?? Another edition of "Conversations with My Kid" Fridays. Join us!!


  1. Awwww - I'm all teary! What a sweet and special bond. I can just see how proud she was of herself. Great writing.

    My first son is 100% Daddy - from the blonde hair to the blue eyes - until he smiles. Those dimples. Those dimples are mine :-)

    Actaully, both sons have dimples. God's way of throwing me a bone I think.

  2. do you know (well, i know you don't) that my dad can wiggle his ears, too! it's the strangest thing. speaking of daddies and daughters... yes everyone talks about a natural bond, but don't think the one you describe isn't truly a gift. not all dads and daughters have bonds. or good relationships, for that matter. not to be a buzz kill or anything. but reading your sweet, touching post does make me wistful. i just don't know if my dad and i were ever anything like your hubby and your beautiful girls. and now i have only boys.

  3. I wish I'd had that relationship with my father. We get along pretty well now but....Your girls are very lucky and adorable, btw

  4. So beautiful. I have tears in my eyes. My dad is special like that with my sister and I. Nice to know that the girls have their daddy wrapped around their fingers, where he belongs!

  5. You have shared your blessings with all of us. Thanks for that! I remember when we were pregnant with #2, Hubby said he wasn't sure he had any more love inside him than he already had for #1. Sure enough - there was plenty where that came from! Dad's are AWESOME!

  6. As the middle of five daughters and the mother of two little girls, I loved this post. There is something magical about the bonds between daddies and their girls.


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