Monday, June 11, 2007

Back from Va-Ka!




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 three photos today were all shared with me by visitors to this blog; thanks to all for sending your favorite images to me. The fourth photo is of the work site of one of the greatest writers of our time – the actual desk, chair and typewriter of Earnest Hemingway. We stopped by his house to pay homage while in Key West last week. If you haven’t read “The Old Man and the Sea,” you should.

And if that book is too metaphorical for your taste, try “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris. You’ll laugh your head off and quite possible wet your pants in the process.

Speaking of last week, I’ll post some photos and tidbits from the family vacation later this week. For the moment just let me say I discovered the girls guessed I weigh somewhere between 195 and 600 pounds, Linley doesn’t know the difference between Jimmy Buffet and Willie Nelson (after all, they're both always either drunk or stoned), and Meagan kept saying I was taking a “hair vacation.”

I received the sweetest story last week about one father’s loving nature. Here is an excerpt:

“Presently we are saving everything we can spare to accomplish an important financial goal, so for Valentines Day I told my husband not to purchase anything for me. He followed my wished and did not send flowers and all that usual stuff to my job, but when I arrived to my daughter’s preschool to pick her up there sat a single rose and a balloon. He had come to her school and delivered her Valentine's Day gift to her. There she was, a two year old with flowers and a balloon for Valentine's Day. The sight of her happiness was the best gift I could have asked for. I asked my husband about it and he said ‘I want her to know from the very beginning how a man should treat her and that if the man trying to be in her life can't treat her as well or better than her daddy then she need not be bothered.’”

What a lesson for a young girl to learn and what better person to teach it than her Daddy.

One dad recently answered my question about what “girl mysteries” confound him. This is what he said: “The hardest moments are when she hurts herself, reaches out to be held, and only a moment after being held, is pushing away from me again. It seems like that may be the case as she continues to grow, too. I suppose learning to love is - learning to let go.” It is indeed.

While signing books yesterday at a Barnes and Noble store I meet a man in his late 20’s who told me he had a one-month-old daughter, born as the result of a brief post-divorce reconciliation his ex-wife. Unfortunately, during the reconciliation attempt, they remembered why they divorced in the first place. Now he is unable to see his daughter and wondered if it is best to fight for his parental rights, or let his ex and their daughter begin a new life without him. I urged him to pursue visitation rights, saying, “If you don’t make it clear you want to see her, one day she will know you didn’t try. She will then feel unworthy of your pursuit, and that will leave a hole in her heart that may never heal.” I hope it was the right thing to say to him.

I got this email yesterday: “My wife and daughters went to Boston to see some friends in late April and went to the ChristianBook.com warehouse sale. While there, my 16 year old daughter bought a book for me. It just happened to be your book ‘Why a Daughter Needs a Dad.’ She about flipped out when she saw your comment on my blog.” This dad has gone on to send me stories for Daddy’s Little Girl. It’s a small world, isn’t it?

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

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