Thursday, May 31, 2007

Traffic Court

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of Mario Cannessa and his daughters. We call him Super Mario because he can do almost anything. Rather, he will do almost anything to support his family. A native of Peru, he is now an American citizen who works three jobs to give his daughters and granddaughter what their heart desires. A good man indeed. This photo appears in my book, Thank You, Dad.

Now that Jill is off for the summer she is taking care of me so I can write for hours a day. She’s running all the errands, making lunch and dinner, and, my favorite part, taking care of the dang poop machine dog! It feels like I’m on vacation!

Just in case you are in the Atlanta area, I am signing books at the Borders book store at The Avenue of East Cobb, this Saturday from 1:00 – 3:00. See you there!

I’m making great progress on the first draft of Daddy’s Little Girl – an introduction and five stories completed thus far. I tend to write in “chunks,” 500-700 words at a time that I combine later for a full-length story. I then stew on a draft for a while before undertaking another round of editing. As most writers know, it is always better about the third time you slice and dice it. Here’s a chunk that’s simmering right now (I'm hungry):

“He explained he enjoyed assembling that bicycle because he knew he could never again build her first bicycle, and he didn’t know how much longer his little girl would think girly things were cool. His daughter was at an age he didn’t really want to see pass. I understood completely.

He shared with me his amazement about how quickly his daughter was growing up, and he wondered how many occasions there will be in their future when he would assume she was ready for one milestone and she would inform him she had already passed that milestone and was on her way to something else. Somewhere in the process of turning a wrench to assemble that first bicycle he realized growing up meant, in a way, that his child would continuously need less of him. He feared losing the status and personal satisfaction of being the guy who could fulfill his daughter’s dreams and wishes.

Again, I understood completely.

I wrote him back to reassure him that he would not lose that role in his daughter’s life; it’s just that the tasks at hand will change. I shared with him how even though Meagan wrestled with me for independence and more than once admonished me with “I’m not your little girl any more,” she still calls on me constantly to repair things or take care of certain matters for her. I told him he was certain to give his daughter driving lessons, the next natural extension from riding a bicycle, and one day, he might even help her in traffic court, like I once helped my daughter.

In retrospect, I’m not sure if I reassured the man, or scared him.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Be among the few

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of my uncle, Stanley Brown, and three of his four daughters. This photo appears in my new book Thank You, Dad. Stanley has been an advisor, mentor, confidant and friend to me for all of my life. I’ve watched him raise his girls since they were born and much of what I saw influences how I parented Meagan. He’s a good man, a great father, and I love him a whole-hell-of-a-lot as we say down here in the south.

I am amazed by your response to this project. I have now received 250 stories since beginning this quest for putting into words the love and magic of the father-daughter relationship. Thank you all so much!

Thanks Linda for the kind words of encouragement you have posted on this blog. In one you said:

“You sound like the dream dad for so many girls. We all want to feel this special in his eyes. At my husband's and my stage of life we are facing some regrets - not large, horrible ones, just the thoughtless comment, the flippant response to something, things like that.”

Listen hon’, I ain’t no dream dad (forgive the redneck dialect, but I did hang out with a gang of ‘em last weekend); I’ve made plenty of mistakes. We are on the same team as far as that goes. I’m not gifted with the art of doing the right thing or saying the right thing every time. In fact, I all too often have blown it. But I am gifted, or cursed depending on your perspective, with the talent for writing about my mistakes in a way others can read, enjoy and take a lesson from. The lesson today is simple – all parents make mistakes, but too few own up to them and make amends for them. Be among the few.

This is an excerpt from a sweet story I received yesterday:

“I remember being a small girl standing at my daddies’ feet waiting on my favorite breakfast, cheese eggs. He knew it was my favorite. I still remember his smile as he scooped them onto my plate. And there we sat. I was the luckiest girl in the world. I could not eat them fast enough; after all, the fish were waiting. I was my daddy’s little tomboy back then.

Years have gone by and some memories have faded. But looking back these are the things I can say my dad taught me. My dad taught me to dance to the beat of the music. He taught me to drive always wearing a seatbelt. He even taught me to fly a plane (and we lived to tell about it). He taught me to enjoy the finest breads. I cannot go by a bread store without stopping and savoring the aroma and thinking of my dad. And he taught me to love peanut butter with cheddar cheese sandwiches at bedtime.”

Another adult daughter told me of her dad’s habit of keeping a journal about their activities and his observations of his child:

“I have learned incredible things from my dad, and am very thankful he kept that journal. I enjoy looking back in it to read his hopes for me and lessons he was trying to teach me.”

Now that’s a cool idea. It reminded me of The Meagan Box I mentioned in an earlier post. We always have fun when looking through it. It is now full and my memories are spilling over into a bottom drawer. I only hope Meagan and Linley will one day read the books I’ve written for them and come to know that in spite of my mistakes, I loved them and meant well in all that I tried to do.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm very American

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

The first photo today is of Mandy and Rick Liptak. Mandy wrote,

“I’m a spitting image of my father. When you look at my pictures it’s obvious that I have his nose, eyes, and well-formed calf muscles. When you look at my life it’s obvious that I have his stubbornness, his compassionate heart, his silly sense of humor, and his positive yet realistic outlook on life. When you look at his pictures it’s obvious that he was a man full of vibrant life and tremendous love. When you look at his life it’s obvious that he was an outstanding husband to my mom and an extraordinary father to my older sister and me.”


Mandy sent a very sweet tribute to her dad and I'm happy to use it in the book.

I didn’t have time to write over the holiday weekend so I’ve included a few goofy photos of the girls, some of their friends and me for your entertainment.



I received two emails of note this weekend. One ended with this message:

“These days, my siblings and I have taken on the role of parent to our father. After all, even Superman had someone taking care of him.

P.S. Someone once told me that we should never love our fathers because they are perfect; love them because they try.”

…and the other…

“Your whole body of work seems to be a very American thing and I consider myself a very European person. I am sorry to say that your work seems tremendously sentimental and pathetic to me.”

You can’t please everyone, nor should you want to, I always say.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Meagan Box




I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Not much time to write today; I have company all day, an honors ceremony to attend at Linley’s school, a pool party to carpool for, a cheer leader clinic to transport to, need to go to the market, having lunch with dad-in-law, must cut the grass….

The images above are a few mementos I dug out of the Meagan Box. The first photo is of her first pair of shoes, her first ballet slippers, and my childhood hairbrush my mother saved and then gave me to use with Meagan. The letters are self-evident. These are the kind of things I would run back into a burning house to retrieve. To learn more about the Meagan Box, read Why a Daughter Needs a Dad: 100 Reasons.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: You can never commit an act of kindness too soon, because you can never know how soon it will be too late to act!

This is a portion of a letter one adult daddy’s girl wrote to her dad: “Thank you for those long nights, loving moments, words of wisdom, for always wanting the best for me, teaching me, never giving up, always believing in me, and blessing me just by being who you are. Thank you, Dad, for always flashing those blue eyes full of love and pride in my direction. I love you Dad!”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!




Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Sample Story

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

I have been asked to provide a sample of what a dad might write. Keep in mind you do not need to write a complete short story, just the details will do. I’ll ask questions of you if I need other info to complete the story for the book. Please write in your own style; no need to worry that you aren’t an author. I will “doctor” your story to make sure the book reads consistently, as well as incorporate your story into others of a similar theme. But for the sake of an example, this is what I wrote yesterday:

“I remember attending an awards program one evening at Meagan’s daycare when she was four years old. I can still see her, all of 40 inches tall and wearing a white cap and gown with white sandals, her little finger and toes nails painted pale pink. She stood in line with her friends, rising up on her tiptoes several times in an attempt to find me in the crowd. I jockeyed for position with the other parents who were also trying to get in the right spot for a perfect picture of their child. She spied me, waved, and pointed me out to the girl standing next to her. I grinned, waved back to her and quickly took several photos.

The moment for giving out the awards arrived. The daycare director gave a brief speech about cherishing the memories of these formative years, and then proceeded to offer each child a piece of paper rolled like a diploma. When Meagan’s turn came, she received a certificate for being the most talkative (it was well deserved). Everyone laughed, she blushed, and soon the ceremony was over. Afterward we were served Kool-Aid and Oreos, and I took more photos of Meagan, this time while hamming it up with her friends.

I was known to her friends back then as “Meagan’s dad.” I loved that name because it was such a pure and simple description of who I was. The kids don't know my past or care about my future. They don't know what I did for a living nor frown about how many mistakes I had made by then. I was just Meagan’s dad, the silly guy who made them laugh in the afternoons and who occasionally got down on the floor during nap time before leaving town on a business trip.

One of the things I enjoyed most in those years was the innocence of these children’s young age; judgment, embarrassment, expectation and heartache had not yet entered their lives. In Meagan’s eyes I was who I was standing there at that moment, the guy who was going to let her ride on my shoulders, the man who would let her eat spaghetti with her fingers, the father who would help her get ready for bed, and the daddy who would read a nighttime story to her in a different voice for each character. If I disappointed her back then, she’s forgotten about it; thankfully her memories of childhood bring forth only laughter.

I know I’ve disappointed Meagan many times since then, and I worry all the time that I’ve done some things she now won’t forget. I worry all the time that I’ve had all the days I’ll ever get of my little girl looking at me with proud, adoring eyes. I honestly know that this is not going to be the case, but sometimes after my teenager and I have had an argument or simply just can’t seem to get along, my heart sinks as I try to convince myself I’m not a failure as a parent.

The only thing that seems to soothe me until we’ve made up is to pull a photo out of my wallet, one taken the evening of that awards ceremony long ago. I’ve carried it with me everyday in the last dozen years. The look in her eyes still stirs me. The smile on her face reminds me of a promise I made in the first moment I held her after she was born - to be the best father I could be. I kiss it before returning it to its place and then move on, hoping that in the end I will have given her more good memories that stir laughter than bad ones that bring forth tears.”

I hope this helps. Happy writing; I look forward to hearing from you!

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Laughing in the go-cart


I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photos are of Meagan and I in Jill’s go-cart one evening, and Lily and Lucy, the cutest 4 year olds in our ‘hood. Linley is camera shy unless she is taking pictures of herself, but I hope to get a shot of us together this weekend while we are at a family reunion. She’s not of my blood, but she is of my heart!

I’ve learned to love the sidebar. Scroll down for a few new features: a self-portrait, a tongue-in-cheek resume, and a list of facts about me (I hope to get it to 100 in time).

Here are a few excerpts from stories I’ve received recently:

“As parents we're grateful to do anything for our children, we love them with everything we have. To know they value us, when they realize just how deep our love is, that's all the reward a parent ever needs.” Amen!

“Dad, I felt every bit of your love for me, whether I was front and center and highly visible, or simply riding next to you in the car on our way to get a Diet Coke. You have always loved me unconditionally, no matter what. And because of that, I feel like every aspect of my life is an accomplishment, simply because I am your daughter.”

That’s all for today – we have a busy holiday weekend (it actually begins on Thursday in our house this year) so I need to get back to work. I can’t party if I feel like I didn’t complete enough work before play. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

An Opinion

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of friends of Meagan, one I took for the book Brothers and Sisters.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Friendship improves happiness and abates misery by doubling our joy and dividing our grief.

Rather than my usual post, I’ve elected to share with you an article I recently wrote for the National Stepfamily Day website:

As an author of a book series about family relationships, I receive fan email from time to time, many like these:

“I just wanted to comment on how wonderful I think your book is (Why a Daughter Needs a Dad). My husband recently bought a copy for his daughter, my stepdaughter. My husband is not her biological father, but he has raised her from birth and is her Dad in every sense of the word.”

Did you get that? A wife who admires her husband for loving a child that is not his nor hers, yet the three of them make a loving family. That’s a picture worth ten-thousand words. And then this one:

“It isn't very often that I find something that reaches those dark corners of my heart. Your books do just that. ‘Why a Daughter Needs a Mom’ so accurately portrays feelings I can relate to. It was given to me by my soon to be ex-husband. His mother gave him ‘Why a Daughter Needs a Dad,’ and it made a lasting impression on him. We share in the raising our children and are trying to stay focused on what is important for them. I love these books and with them will be reminded that being a parent is an awesome responsibility and a wonderful opportunity, to love and be loved unconditionally in return.”

What should you derive from reading that? I think the point is really quite simple, that is, you can choose to make your kids feel torn between two families, or give them a life enriched by two families.

My wife and I each share a joint custody arrangement with our ex-spouses. It’s always hard to see them go to their other homes, but it is the right thing to do, to let them have their other family lives free of guilt, fear of reprisal, or feelings of divided loyalty. Jill and I are not saints, we probably could’ve handled a few things better than we did, but all in all I think we are doing a good job as step-parents for each others’ child. We certainly try to stay focused on providing love and nurture to our blended family.

There is no test per-se to determine if your kid is going to turn out unharmed by divorce, so instead you look for signs of normalcy and hope that it means all is well. In our house I think all is well – it is full of normal. The girls have the same tormented banter all siblings have, and the same good and fun times. Each of us has a bad day once in a while. All of us fall into a pile and hug once in a while. We argue over who gets to pick the movie or restaurant and we plan together for our next vacation. And of great importance, in our house the girls have the freedom and are encouraged to have fun with their other parents.

My daughter went to a formal dance recently and I was the appointed photographer at the before-party. There were five young couples there, all decked out and eagerly awaiting the limo. Meagan acted a little embarrassed as I posed and snapped photos, but pleased with me at the same time, happy everyone wanted their picture made. I took a hundred photos and eventually we parents sent our kids off for the big night.

Once at home I downloaded the images and scanned them quickly, looking to make sure I had a few good ones. My attention went to one in particular; one I forgot had been taken. Meagan’s mom took it with my camera – it was of my child with her arms wrapped around my wife and I, all three of us grinning wide.

It made me smile to see the three of us looking so happy together, and it made me even happier to recall that my ex-wife took the picture, that she, Jill and I could be together enjoying an event in Meagan’s life, and that Meagan could relax and enjoy herself without being stressed out in that situation. It is a gift we all give her, one I know she appreciates.

Later, Jill, her daughter and I went shopping for Mother’s Day cards. We planned to buy three, one each for our mothers, but left with a dozen instead. I decided to get one for my mother-in-law, Jill decided to get one for my mom, Linley acted on her own and Meagan’s behalf and selected several for their grandmothers, and the list went on and on.

The bill was enough to have taken us all to dinner at a decent restaurant, but I didn’t mind. The exercise assured me that all four of us had inherited an extended family. I have in-laws who embrace me, my parents have another grandchild, and each child has another set of grandparents as well as new aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Sure, we can all agree it is most desirable for first marriages to last, but the reality is many do not. The second best thing we can hope for is in the case of a blended family, that it “blends” really well. In our home we are succeeding in that objective because we are determined to give our children the freedom to love all their parents and relatives, of birth and remarriage.

What about in your home? Are your children told to choose – respect the father or the mother, but not both? If you aren’t giving them the freedom to love at will, you do not love your children as much as you should.

Just my opinion.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Angels Abound



I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Watch out for temptation—the more you see of it the better it looks.

I’ve got three photos for you today. The first, a vintage photo given to me by Richard W. of FL, is of his daughter. Obviously it was taken years ago, yet he is still attached to it as if it were taken yesterday. I understand that; I have photos in my wallet that are nearly 16 years old and I refuse to part with them.

The second photo is if my friend Mike and his daughter; he and members of his family have posed for me from time to time. Haley assumed that pose all on her own, not cues from me. Certainly she is daddy’s little girl now, and will be for years to come.

The last photo is of my friend Jeanine (far right) with her sisters and infant nephew. These four women are all daddy’s girls, and I have just the story to prove it!

I found this nice review on the Barnes and Noble website:
From Our Editors
Gregory Lang's Thank You, Dad contains 100 great reasons to revere fathers. The eclectic list includes "teaching me how to drive," "making time to play with me when I needed your attention," "teaching me to share my time as well as my things," and "attending all of my events." A fond thank you from every grateful, tongue-tied son.

It’s always a pleasant surprise when you discover your teen speaks fondly of you behind you back. I ran into a neighbor yesterday as she was walking her twin toddlers. Jill commented on how Virginia’s hair is finally growing out and the mom told us of how Meagan (their babysitter) once reminisced about how I did her hear each morning before dropping her off at daycare. Yep, brushed her teeth and clipper her nails, too. I’m so glad she remembers it. I also hope that when I am old, she’ll return the favor.

Jill and I had dinner outside on the lawn of a friend’s house this weekend; Allison’s mom and dad were in attendance. Still a bit cool at night around here, Bob got cold and got up to go into the house. We all thought he wasn’t coming back, but moments later he emerged wearing Allison’s bathrobe. He took his seat, grabbed his wine glass and raised it with a nod to all before taking a sip. Yes, with age comes a relaxed comfort; I can’t wait.

One daughter shared with me the eulogy she gave her father recently. It included this sentiment: “He taught me that beauty is from within person and a hand shake is your word and your promise. I love my Daddy and he will always be the best part of me.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!



Friday, May 18, 2007

BIG LOVE




I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Please note: If you send a story by email please include your name in the document. Otherwise, once the story is detached from your email I lose track of who to contact in the event I have questions.

I’ve got three photos for you today. The B&W one is of a former co-worker’s daughter; I took it a few years and I love her dimples. The color photos of dads and daughters were given to me by my new friends Sarah (with her Dad in front of the shrub) and Kim (that’s her daughter and husband). Keep ‘em coming, folks.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Everyone has patience - but too few learn how to use it.

More excerpts from stories I’ve received, along with a little commentary (italics):

“I could not celebrate being pregnant because I felt I had brought shame to my family; I didn’t feel like ‘Daddy’s little girl’ anymore. I sat on the floor in an empty apartment, crying, waiting for my daddy to get there.

He arrived and sat cross-legged on the floor with me; I cried. He knew only that I was not going to marry the man I loved. I finally said, ‘I’m pregnant,’ and waited for his response. His eyes sparkled and he replied, ‘YES! I’m going to have another grandchild!’”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is BIG love! It is a wonderful dad who celebrates such news when so many others might have expressed disappointment.

“My dad was one of the silliest, cheesiest dads of all time. As a teenager I think I was annoyed by this, but as I got older I loved having a dad that was funny and cool. My friends and my sister’s friends always loved him and joked around with him. He was like a dad and a friend to anyone who came around. He used to sing goofy songs around the house and in the car, and he always had a blunt comment or a corny joke to make us laugh.”

Maybe there’s hope for me yet!

“I am a single father, who has the joy of raising my 4 year old daughter. I wanted to thank you for writing the book Why a Daughter Needs a Dad; its words are extremely powerful. My favorite and the one that resonates more than any other is ‘A daughter needs a dad, because without him she will have less in her life than she deserves.’
Your book has provided strength, inspiration, and tears. Thank you for supporting me without even knowing me.”

Divorce need not deprive a child from one of the parents; one can only be an ex-spouse, never an ex-mom or ex-dad. It takes two to make a child, folks, and two to raise them, even if in different homes.

“Divorces are ugly, difficult, and may inflict emotional wounds, but they will heal given the proper treatment, i.e. continuous reassurance that there is nothing in this world that will stop parents from loving their children unconditionally. I guess I am one of the lucky few; I turned out alright.”

A woman’s words, not mine. I’ll refrain from saying “I told you so.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!



Thursday, May 17, 2007

Indian Princess


I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Nothing is as strong as gentleness. Nothing is as gentle as moral strength.

Holy moly (never understood what that phrase means)! This blog had 158 visits yesterday!

Today’s B&W photo is of Lucy Schoenrock (what about those eyes!), another of my neighbors. To learn more of how 100 live crickets came into play on a recent camping trip with her dad, Peter, read on. The color photo was sent in by my new friend Patty and her dad. The pull-the-heart-strings story she sent made me cry in my morning coffee.

Let me address a few questions that have come in recently:
1. Yes, I write for money. Hey, I have a Queen, two Princesses and a dog, each with her own clothing & grooming budget.
2. Yes, wives are welcome to send in stories about their husbands and daughters.
3. No, the photos are not going to appear in the book, just on this blog.
4. Yes, you may change names to protect the innocent.
5. Yes, sad stories are also welcome. We learn just as much from tears and heartache as we do from cheers and laughter.
6. No, your story does not need to be a short story. Many have sent in short but powerful paragraphs that work just fine.
7. No, you will not have a chapter of your own. Your stories will be embedded within my own writing, as if I’m having a conversation with the reader telling of my own fathering experiences and those I know of as told to me by other dads and/or their daughters.
8. Yes, you may submit more than one story.

I correspond with a divorced dad from time to time who struggles with his ex to stay involved with his children. I sent this to him recently: “Stay the course. The only thing that would stick in a girl’s mind longer than how much her dad loves her would be the memory of him giving up and walking away from her. You are doing the right thing.” Would you agree, or disagree, with me? Why?

Now this is a quote from a loving and inspired daughter that would flatter any dad: “In the face of darkness, he sees only the light.”

Here are a few segments of stories I received yesterday, presented here to help you think of what you might like to write:

“My dad taught me how to love and bring literature to life by reading Winnie the Pooh with us kids on the sofa and we each acted out a character. It was hilarious! I love Pooh to this day.”

“I call my daddy every morning. We talk, we laugh, we reminisce and most importantly, he always has a story to tell that I can learn a “life lesson” from. I draw strength from his wisdom. Other family members say he is unsurpassed as a grandfather, loving brother, gentle, dedicated husband, incomparable friend. He’s a caretaker for God. I named my son, my only child, after him. I know my years with him are numbered; I don’t take them for granted, I honor and cherish the moments. I hug my dad and still to this day, rest my head on his chest. In his presence, I am loved. In his arms, I am safe.”

My confession: Perhaps the real impetus for this book is this - my readers periodically assume I am the greatest dad ever and wish their father or husband would be more like me. Reading those emails are simultaneously humbling and guilt inducing moments, for I am very aware of my own failures and shortcomings as a parent. I carry with me the desire to go back and change a few things, if only I could. Of course I cannot, but I can help others to avoid the mistakes I’ve made as a parent, and learn valuable parenting lessons from you. Please write.

Sometimes just a sentence can make all the difference. I got this email today: “The book Why a Daughter Needs a Dad means so much to me I had the boarder design tattooed around my arm.”

Oh, yeah, Lucy and crickets. She and Dad were attending an Indian Princess camp one recent weekend when the boy campers invaded and tried to scare the girls with Silly String and rubber snakes and bugs. One scheming dad made a visit to a bait shop, returned to camp and released 100 love crickets in the boys’ tent. The girls slept well; the boys, not so well.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Gentle Gardener


I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Forgiveness is to give love when it seems there is no reason to do so.

Today’s color photo comes from an after school event hosted by a neighbor in the park across the street from our homes. I do not know this little gal’s name, but do I remember that she loved the camera like Paula Dean loves a stick of butter. Can’t you tell?

The B&W photo is one I took of my neighbor Graham and his twins, used in the Thank You, Dad book that was released this past March. If you haven’t seen it, it makes a great Father’s Day gift; it includes pages for you to add your own photo and write a thank you message.

In the course of emailing people about one or another of my books or photographing them for whatever reason, I’ve gotten to know quite a few people well enough to consider them my friends. I know this to be true because we stay in touch, hug when we great, and if they are afar, I get updates and photos in the email, and the occasional Christmas card. Yesterday I got a surprise call from one of these friends. She wanted to let me know her dad, the man she has shared stories with me about, had died. It felt like I had lost a friend, too.

I had my weekly visit with my father-in-law yesterday and he began to tell me of his memories of Jill’s milestone moments, such as high school graduation, first job, college graduation, giving birth to his granddaughter, etc. Now I can’t decide what to do with all the embarrassing details I’m sure my wife doesn’t realize I now know!

I received 21 new stories yesterday! Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this book. Here are a few excerpts from the new touching anecdotes I have added to my treasure chest:

“My real is Abigail, which means “father joy”, and I am proud to say that I am a daddy’s girl. Although my dad died at the age of 49 in an industrial accident, we can always feel his presence. I will never forget all his jokes, the times he was so strict to my suitors, when he tried to cook even though he didn’t know how, and carrying me to bed when I fell asleep.”

“The one story about my dad that sticks out in my head is a couple years ago I went thru health problems. I’ll never forget how my 78 yr old dad climbed into bed beside me and cried with me; his lips quivering as he gave me advice, loved me, held me, and was just there for me.”

“Although we were decidedly lower-middle class, urban Detroiters in the 1960's, I never knew I wasn't anything but rich growing up. It's not that I lived in a fantasy world or that my parents completely protected me from reality. But by simply watching my Dad find supreme pleasure in something as simple as a bag of steaming hot, roasted peanuts while sitting in the bleachers watching a baseball game, I learned my most cherished life-lesson - the glass IS half-full.”

“I greet my daughter at the bus stop several days a week and we spend time doing homework, playing or whatever. Recently, we’ve been spending almost every afternoon at the community pool. However, the other day we skipped the pool and decided to do arts and crafts in the driveway. After 30 minutes of finger painting and drawing on the sidewalk, she looked up at me and said ‘Daddy, playing with you is much better than being at the pool with everyone else.’”

I cannot say thanks often enough not only for the stories, but for the trust people have extended to me with these very personal looks into the windows of their hearts.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The reward for being a good dad - becoming Granddad

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

First, here are some of the stats to date for this project:
1. I have received 174 stories, ranging in length from single paragraphs to multiple pages.
2. More daughters respond than dads, although the number of dads who send a story is growing.
3. I’ve completed 18 interviews and have more scheduled.
4. Two schools and three national family advocate organizations have given promotional support to this project.
5. This blog is experiencing 1500 visits a month.
6. The majority of visits originate in the US and Canada, followed by South-Eastern Asia and Northern Europe.
7. The website is experiencing 35 real visits a day; I expect to hit a record of 1000 visits and 45,000 hits this month!

My deadline to submit the manuscript is September 15th; therefore I need to hear from you by August 15th.

Today’s photo comes from Kim Porter, my new friend in MI. Watching her father with his granddaughter has reminded her of what a great dad she has. Read on.

If this is your first visit, please spend some time reading previous posts and linger in your daughter-dad memories. I’ve posted small samples of the material I am receiving to help you visualize what I’m looking for, but remember, nothing you could send would be “wrong.” Anything inspirational, instructional and family-life affirming will be a perfect fit!

Yesterday I received this sweet email: “I just couldn't keep from writing you. Yesterday was Mothers Day and I received from my 36 year old son one of the best gifts that I have ever received. It was your book ‘Why a Son Needs a Mom.’ I couldn't keep from crying while I was reading it. He even wrote his own closing at the back of the book. Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful book!”

I also received these wonderful stories:

“I miss my dad so much! When I am at work I see many fathers and daughter together, and I miss those times I had with my dad. When I was little, he convinced me that he was Santa Clause. I believed him when he said that, just like I believed him when I was about three and he said he was the strongest man in the world. To me, he was. He was the one that took my to the mall to buy my mom a Christmas gift, and leave little treats for me at his office for no reason. He would kill snakes and catch mice and put the world to rights.

No father can be perfect. Even my beloved father, as I said earlier, had many poor character traits and there were times that we fought. However, he was still my father and played an extremely import part in creating who I am. If I could give advice to fathers it would be to be of strong character, listen to your child’s concerns, encourage creativity, and tell them stories about what you know or your past.”

…and…

“Watching my ten year old daughter’s relationship with her Grandfather has reminded me how much I also wanted appreciation and love from him as my Dad. My Dad never failed to tell me how beautiful I was. He would take great effort to point out each model, actress or newswoman and make sure I saw that they ALSO had freckles. He accepted me despite all my imperfections and encouraged me to reach beyond where I thought I could go. He inspired me to stand in front of an audience and sing even when I wanted to run and hide behind the stage. He stood up and pointed out the truth about boys I wanted to date and told me I could do better. He made me believe that I was important and special and though the world told me otherwise, his voice still sounded deep in my heart. Now as he interacts with my daughter, I see how much he has also influenced her. It is amazing to be an observer to a moving relationship that I also once had as a child. As much as he loved me as his daughter, my children are just as important. I admire my father for not just the man he was in my life, but the man he continues to be.”

I enjoyed a long walk with a neighbor yesterday who shared her thoughts with me on the balance dads must reach between spoiling his daughter and assuring her appreciation and perspective about what is important in life. If you have thoughts on this subject, I want to hear them; it is a balance I am still trying to master.

We are considering becoming a host family to a foreign exchange student, a female from Brazil. We haven’t reached a decision yet, but I am moved by her father’s desire to give his child the chance to see a world she now knows only in daydreams or through TV. I think it is a universal desire of Dads, to let his daughter spread her wings as far as they will go, but only in a safe, real world. Even if we do not become her host family, I hope she will learn we are more than what is depicted on show like Desperate Housewives.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!


Monday, May 14, 2007

A good night of sleep?


I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photos: The B&W one was loaned to me by Mario Hipol of CA. It is of his youngest daughter; he calls her Tinkerbella. This guy is a hoot! Check out his site for a great laugh www.myspace.com/carpegeekem. The color photo is of Meagan (first row, second from left) and her girlfriends on the way out to dinner Saturday night. Hold on to your seat, Mario. One day little Tinkerbella is going to look like one of these girls, and then it will be years before you get a good night of sleep!

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY: A house is made of walls and beams; a home is made of love and dreams; and Ninety percent of the friction of daily life is caused by the wrong tone of voice.

I carry a note pad with me everywhere I go in the event I hear or see things that I want to record for use in my writing in the future. Apparently Linley got hold to it one day and wrote a bio for me. It went something like this: “Hi, I’m Gregory Eugene Lang. I can be cool sometimes but mostly I’m a boring guy. I need 2 add some excitement 2 my life!”

Here are excerpts from material I received recently for Daddy's Little Girl:

“Dad, I am so glad that you love me no matter what I do. I love you very much and I hope I become the "Daddy's Little Girl" that you can be very proud of!”

“When my brothers and I were young we had a tradition with Dad as he took us to school; we called it "Milk and Cookie Day" on Fridays. I'm sure having chocolate milk and a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast wasn’t healthy, but we loved it; the treat and the gesture from Dad. Sometimes I still give myself this treat when I want to remember Dad, but for whatever reason, now that he isn’t here to share it with me, they just don’t taste quite the same.”

“My dad used to say, ‘Take things a step at a time: You can't get from first base to third by running across the pitcher's mound.’"

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!


Friday, May 11, 2007

15 Days Innocent

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is Baby Rylee McElmoyl, the new daughter of our neighbors. She’s 15 days old now. What a cutie!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

This just in from a very happy dad:

“Several weeks ago my wife and I went to my oldest daughter’s parent’s weekend for her sorority at the university she is attending. After dinner with several of her friend’s families my daughter asked if I would go on a date with her that night. It had been awhile since we had been on one since she had lived in a different city her whole first year in college. My wife knew how much this would mean to my daughter and me so she said she would just go back to the hotel. My daughter took me to a place where she enjoyed hanging out with her friends. We played pool for hours beating everyone we played. I got to know her friends and finally way after I would have normally gone to bed I took her back to the dorm. We sat in the car talking and she told me how proud of me she was and how she had just wanted all of her friends to know how “cool” I was. She could never have paid me a better complement. I had thought the date nights were over and that she had grown up but hopefully there are many more to come.”

Meagan and I had date nights, too, and the memories of those times spent together, just the two of us, get me through so many days of doubt and worry.

I found this little review in a New Jersey newspaper this morning:

It's all about moms by any name
Mother's Day officially is Sunday, but we're of the opinion that this entire weekend should be about Mom, Mommy, Step-mom, Mamma or Mother by any other name. Sure, we're thankful for our moms, but how often do we say "thank you" for all the things — big and small — they have done for us through the years?

Author Gregory E. Lang takes on the task in his latest book, "Thank You, Mom: 100 Reasons Why I Am Grateful for You". Lang knows that he can't possibly thank his mother enough for everything she did for him while he was growing up, but he tries in these pages. In doing so, he touches on the many universal themes that mothers and their children have always shared.”

I took Meagan to school yesterday, the first time since she got her car and license 13 months ago. Nothing has changed: she was still late for the time of departure; ate breakfast in the car, leaving crumbs everywhere; insisted on listening to her music instead of my talk radio; put on her makeup during most of the ride, leaving smudges on the mirrored visor; snapped at me a few times because apparently I was “asking too many questions”; and warned me to behave myself as I pulled onto the campus parking lot. Then she said “I love you” and kissed me as she got out of the car. Thankfully, nothing has changed.

Linley had a minor medical emergency that required a visit to the ER. During the check-in process she was asked if she had any allergies. She does, to horse and cat hair. They actually put that info on a wrist band and made her wear it. Whew, I was reassured then they would not accidentally bring a horse into the room! As we were led into the only available room we discovered it was a psychiatric emergency room, one with almost nothing on the walls, restraints on the bed, a locking door that could not be opened from inside the room, and a surveillance camera. As she sat on the bed and looked out into the ER she asked me why everyone stared at her. It was field day at school that day and the kids wear weird outfits; today she looked like a homeless Pippi Longstockings. Soon we learned she needed to have blood drawn and she hates needles, so I tried to distract her by restraining myself to the bed. Just then the fire alarm went off – no not really but for a moment I imagined this as a scene on Seinfeld – me trying to run from the room with a bed attached to my leg.

Jill asked me to go to Moe’s Southwest Grill to pick up a meal she could take to work the next day. She wanted a Naked Home Wrecker to go (a burrito in a bowl instead of the wrap). I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Short & sweet

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Wow! Why a Son Needs a Mom reached a high of #214 on Barnes and Noble’s best selling books list! Thanks to all of you who have purchased it.

Today’s photo is of a friend of mine and her dad and can be found in the new book Thank You, Dad. Go get it for Father’s Day and personalize it with you own photo and thank you message on the pages provided at the end of the book.

That’s all I have time for today; on my way to an interview and photo session of a newborn daughter. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

How far?

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is from my book Thank You, Mom and features three generations of daughters. As I watched these ladies interact during this photo session I couldn’t help but wonder how far out into the family tree does a father’s influence reach? If he treats his daughter like the prize of his heart, does she then live in a way that affects her own daughter’s choice for a husband, who then has expectations for how that husband will interact with their daughter (the great-grandchild of the first father), and so on? If anyone has thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

Sometimes I think I’m really just a cabbie. Yesterday I drove Linley to school by way of Starbuck’s (40 minutes), picked her up from school and drove her to cheer practice by way of Dairy Queen (40 minutes) and then took her to an overnight party (1 hour & 50 minutes roundtrip). No wonder I put over 25,000 miles a year on a car.

The things we parents will do to make our children happy. Jill and I have spent hours trying to find a bakery to make a custom cake for Meagan’s birthday party this weekend. Who would have thought a hot pink high-heeled shoe cake would be such an odd request? Obviously, not Meagan.

Meagan and I were sharing some daddy-daughter time on the couch the other night watching one of her programs when I turned to her and said, “I can’t believe you will be leaving for college in just over a year.”
“I know,” she said, then added, “I’m scared.”
“Why would you be scared?”
“I’m such a baby.”
“And whose fault is that?”
That was when she reached out and smacked me on the back of the head. “What were you thinking?” she asked.
I wonder myself sometimes.

I got this in a letter someone sent me yesterday:

“If anything, I am guilty of thinking that he is the perfect father, after all, he is MY DAD. I would justify his actions so that I could maintain this perfect image of him in my mind. But he is only human, and he makes mistakes too, some trivial, some more serious, and that is alright. Life is not just about being perfect, life is about being real, facing reality and giving your best to every situation you encounter and accepting the outcome, be it good or bad. I know he is giving his best to be my father.”

Don’t we men all hope in retrospect our daughters, indeed all our children, think we gave our best at being good fathers?

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Some Suggestions


I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

These photos were sent to me by Richard Wirsching of FL. A proud and loving father, he sends me song lyrics, poems and little recollections of things he shared with his daughter long ago. Yes, the gift of sweet memories is a lovely gift indeed.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: A good laugh is sunshine in a house.

This is something I can really relate to, a sentiment shared with me by Steve Norris of Pasadena:

“Perhaps the most haunting thought, or really more of a feeling, is that of loss. It is indeed time for me to grow up, along with my daughters. There are lots of things I miss these days, and I think it has a lot to do with the ages of my girls (11 and 14). I miss little girls. Girls that come up to your knee or your waist at most. I miss being gang tackled when I come home from work with screams of "Daddy!" I miss sitting at dinner and having someone tell me "the best part of school today was recess". I miss one particular daughter constantly falling out of her chair at dinner because she was laughing too hard. I miss reading together in bed. I miss watching completely ridiculous Disney movies together.”

Again, I can’t help but reassure myself and say, the gift of sweet memories is a lovely gift indeed.

One daughter reflected on lessons her dad taught: “Even though my father had taught me to never doubt my abilities, he had also taught me the humility to see those abilities without conceit.”

Several have written to ask me about what kind of stories should be submitted. There is no particular format or length for a story; it is a wide open opportunity to share what you wish. I’m looking for true stories that are heartfelt and inspirational, the kind of thing other daughters and dads would derive hope and guidance from after reading.

Write what you want – a story, a poem, a random collection of thoughts, etc. I want to hear what you learned from the relationship, how it has changed over the years, favorite memories, silly times, how you two dealt with conflict, etc. The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from.

I want the book to be honest. If either of you made mistakes, tell me; other may learn what not to do. If you've worked through issues, tell me how. If you have hope for how things will get better, what are those hopes?

Perhaps some suggestions:

For Dads
1. What are your favorite memories of daughter-dad moments spent together?
2. What are your hopes and dreams for your daughter?
3. If you are single, how do you handle being a dad and dating?
4. If your daughter is married, what was it like to see another man enter her life?
5. How has having a daughter changed you?
6. What advice would you give new dads of daughters?
7. What regrets, if any, do you have about the way you parented your daughter?
8. If you also have a son, what is the difference, if any, in raising boys and girls?
9. What was the great mystery for you when raising a daughter?
10. How do you want your daughter to remember you?

For Daughters
1. What are your favorite memories of time spent with dad?
2. If there were things your dad didn’t understand about girls, what were they and how did you help him?
3. What aspects of your relationship changed over the years and how do you feel about that change?
4. What advice would you give new dads of daughters?
5. What was the occasion when you first understood how much your dad really loved you?
6. Does/did your relationship with your dad affect your other relationships with men? If so, how?
7. What, if anything, do men really need to learn and understand about raising daughters?
8. When did you dad begin to see you as a mature adolescent/adult instead of a little girl?
9. In what ways do you hope your relationship with your dad will change?
10. How would your dad say if asked “Tell me about your daughter.”?

These are just suggestions but anything is game so long as it is inspirational and informative to daughters and dads looking to better understand each other.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!


Monday, May 07, 2007

A Dad's Comfort

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo was loaned to me by Shari DeVoogd, a great photographer and clothing designer. Check out her products at http://www.vodeclothier.com/. What a picture!

I was signing books in a Barnes and Noble this weekend when I heard a small child calling out for her dad. I looked up and saw a toddler searching frantically for her father, tears streaming down her checks as she ran between the aisles. When she found him she leapt into his arms, kissed him and cried some more. He asked why she cried, and she said, “I though you lost me.” Shortly afterward, a grown woman stood at my table looking at my books and I asked her if she was close to her dad. She began to cry and told me she’d lost him a few years ago. She took my card and agreed to send me a story of her favorite memories. I was struck by the similarity of these two scenes. Even though 50 years probably separated these two females, they shared something – an overwhelming desire for the comfort of their fathers.

I saw these posts on blogs over the weekend and thought it they were both wise and hilarious:

“I asked Dad for advice about relationships and love. From what I can see my parents are quite happy together after 30+ years together. They hold hands, do lots of stuff together, talk, and they still have sex (gross but inspiring). He told me...

1. Keep mutual friends.
2. Don't go on 'girls/boys night out' style vacations without your significant other (I think camping and outdoors vacations with little potential for extra marital hookups are okay- I’m a little fuzzy on the details).
3. Restrict social time with friends of the opposite sex to daytime, preferably public locations.”

…and…

“I love doing just about anything with my dad. I think my relationship with him is probably the least complicated one in my life. He's fun and he's decent and he's wise and he looks out for me, but not in a way that makes me feel incompetent, like I can't look out for myself. I know, in a lot of ways, I have become who I am because I have always been so nuts about my dad.”

This little jewel came from a story submitted to me by an adopted daughter: “I now had a father who claimed responsibility for me. I had a Dad. He took me on - a fatherless child - and gave me a new name, a new identity.”

I also received a great story from a woman who suffered a traumatic medical complication that left her with some cognitive problems. Her dad came to her side in the following way:

“During those first 2 years, Dad called every day, and I got to know my father in a way I never had before. Before that, my father rarely talked on the phone, he’d answer, grunt at you a bit and then hand you off to Mom. But now he was in charge of those conversations, making me talk, making me use my brain again, challenging me to vocalize the thoughts that were trapped in my head. He knew I was still in there, capable as ever. I felt so close to him then and I loved him for it.”

As these stories come in not only do I see glimpses into other peoples lives, I find cause to examine my own life and inspiration to improve who I am as a dad. I spend several hours a day writing and thinking about this book, and believing that when the girls get home in the afternoon they will arrive to a better man than the one they saw on the way to school that morning. I cannot thank others enough for the help they are extending to me.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Friday, May 04, 2007

How will you be remembered?

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

First, some BIG THANK YOUs are in order – to the Greater Atlanta Christian School and the Wesleyan School for distributing news about my book project to the parents of your students, as well as to www.dadsanddaughters.org and www.fatherville.com for adding my request for stories to their newsletters. I am sincerely grateful for your help.

Today’s photograph is from my book Brothers and Sisters. These girls live in my neighborhood and were operating a Kool-Aid stand one hot summer afternoon. I talked them into letting me take this photo and then I bought a cup, tipping them $20 bucks. They thought they were rich. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all thought so little was indeed so much?

In case you’re in Atlanta, I’m signing books this Sunday from 2:00 – 4:00 at the Barnes & Noble store at the Forum on Peachtree Pkwy.

Here’s something else I’ve learned recently in the course of talking with daughters: If a daughter isn’t reassured by her dad, later it is hard for her to believe a boyfriend, even a husband, when he tries to give comfort and reassurance.

I’ve heard from a large number of women who have lost their dads; some cry during the interview even when the dad may have died years ago. Yes, they recall bad times and mistakes the dad made, but more than that, they are still affected by his loving kindness and playful affection. These women share their stories with me to honor their fathers. It is touching. It is also provocative in that it leaves me wondering how my girls will remember me. Better yet, what will I do or say now that I want to be sure they remember later?

Coincidentally, here is an excerpt from a story I received yesterday from a loving daughter:

“Dad, you showed me how to love my children by the way you loved me. You always took time for me, taking me fishing, talking with me, listening more than anything else. You valued me and proved that time and again by putting me before your own pursuits. When I was involved in something, you supported it wholeheartedly and completely. I was never left to wonder if Daddy would be there when I needed him.”

Perhaps it all boils down to this - it isn’t how much money he can make, how influential he is, how much weight he can lift, how well he hunts or plays sports, but instead it is how his wife and children remember him that is the only measure of a man that truly counts. So Dads, go out and make some memories this weekend. Your wife will appreciate it as much as your kids will.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A new record


I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is from Thank You, Dad and is of my cousin Jeff Register and his daughter. Now I’m not sure if she is my second cousin, a cousin once removed, not my cousin at all, or what. That whole thing confuses me!

Just a bit of a career update – I’m attempting to land a syndication deal for a newspaper column about family experiences and a deal with a speakers bureau. Among my friends I’m referred to as a male Erma Bombeck; hopefully I’ll get to road test that reputation. Cross your fingers for me, please.

Speaking of fame, I’m watching an interview with Pastor Rick Warren on Fox News. He is rich and famous and deserves every bit of it. Why am I bringing him up? Remember the Ashley Smith/Brian Nichols saga in Atlanta? According to her book Unlikely Angel, Mr. Nichols picked up my book Why a Daughter Needs a Dad before eventually reaching for The Purpose Drive Life. Oh, so close.

I had a wonderful interview/conversation with Sara W. last night; she is remarkably wise for her age. I’m glad we met; I learned a few things from her and look forward to using her thoughts in the book Daddy’s Little Girl. Although these are not her exact words, here are a few lessons she taught this dad:

1. Emotional distance leaves scars.
2. Make sure you child isn’t teaching you something you should be teaching your child.
3. Never be guilty of not knowing who your children are.
4. Faith heals.

And while we were talking about the importance of a dad showing a daughter how she should be treated by men, I realized I’ve never heard a woman say, “I want a husband who will yell at me when he isn’t ignoring me.” Dear Lord, please help me lead my daughters to want more than that.

I took these two examples of a daughter’s love from letters I received yesterday:

“Dad, I love you because you loved my mother. Oh, how you loved my mother. You made me yearn for that kind of love in marriage. Even today, the sacrificial love that you demonstrate towards her sets a high standard for all of your children.”
…and…

“Nothing in this world makes a girl feel more special than an adoring father who lets his daughter sit on his lap for as long as she wants, who spends rainy days sharing secrets and building tents in the living room, and who plays with Barbie dolls just because it makes your eyes light up.”

This blog had a record high of 105 visits yesterday! Thanks so much to you all for telling your friends about my project!

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

An Angel on Earth

Sometimes the lessons parents should teach their children are obvious and rather easy. Other times, important lessons are abstract, if not elusive. Now and then the lesson isn’t a didactic exercise between a parent and child, but an example given by a parent that the child will later emulate. Often the parent must undergo change before he/she can be the example a child needs. Sometimes the child is the teacher. In all cases, certainly life is the classroom.

What are the essential lessons a dad must teach a daughter, either directly or by example, to assure she matures into a well rounded adult woman? What can the daughter teach the dad? What do they learn together? These are the questions to be addressed by Daddy’s Little Girl.

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo was sent to me by Mrs. Giles from http://www.suziepetunia.blogspot.com/. That’s little Alice Rose, held by her dad, the proud Father of his fourth Angel.

Folks have written to ask what kind of material I’m looking for. There is no particular format or length for a story; it is a wide open opportunity to share what you wish. I’m looking for true stories that are heartfelt and inspirational, the kind of thing other daughters and dads would derive hope and guidance from after reading.

Write what you want – a story, a poem, a random collection of thoughts, etc. I want to hear what you learned from the relationship, how it has changed over the years, favorite memories, silly times, how you two dealt with conflict, etc. The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from.

I want the book to be honest. If either of you made mistakes, tell me; other may learn what not to do. If you've worked through issues, tell me how. If you have hope for how things will get better, what are those hopes?

Here are two fine examples of what daughters have sent in:

“He’s a very tender man; I love that about my dad. He cries during sentimental moments in commercials, movies or TV shows. He loves good classical music, and if it moves him enough you can see him sitting listening intently with his eyes closed and a soft smile on his face and a little tear rolling down his cheek. Recently as he walked me down the aisle to my new husband-to-be on my wedding day, he cried more than I did! We had a moment in the kitchen before hand making faces at each other and telling funny stories to help us to not be too blubbery. He makes me laugh and smile and feel so good about the decisions I make in my life.”

…and…

“My dad one told me, ‘The day you were born, I looked at you and knew that I loved you, more than anything in the whole world. I promised myself I would take care of you for as long as I had breath. I would cry so that you didn’t have to; starve so that you could eat; hurt so you would feel no pain. My whole life my dad kept that promise, his love for me has always been my comfort. My world is better for having him in it. With him I found a love that never waivers.”

I need to hear from more dads! Daughters are coming from all corners of the world (the UK, Australia, Spain, Japan, Egypt) to praise you; now return the gesture and honor your daughters!

The next ten things I will teach my grandchildren:
11. Thermostats are toys; turn them on and off or up and down whenever you wish.
12. When in a sushi restaurant pretend the chopsticks are drumsticks and play Wipe Out over and over again.
13. Whining is a right, exercise it.
14. Always bring home more overnight guests than you were allowed to invite.
15. Never help clean up after a party.
16. If it’s the last one, eat it before someone else does.
17. Wait until you can’t hold it any longer before you announce as loudly as possible that you have to pee.
18. Get hysterical for no reason other than the fun of seeing how your parents become hysterical too.
19. Hide your trash in the cup holder, door pockets, between the seats and all other nooks and crannies of your parents’ car.
20. Never return anything you’ve borrowed.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!