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!


3 comments:

The Writers' Group said...

Greg, thanks so much for including my story about my father being National Father of the Year. I love your book idea; it's wonderful that you're putting something positive out into the world. Given the state of things, it's much needed.

Amy MacKinnon

Anonymous said...

When I saw the opening picture today, I thought for sure it was of a young Jill.
Hugs to you.
Shelly A

Greg said...

I'll take that hug, Shelly! Thanks!