Monday, August 13, 2007

Mani, pedi

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, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

Now on to today’s post…

Daddies never stop thinking about their daughters, and daughters never stop thinking about their dads. Daughters young and mature share a common desire for the company and comfort of their fathers. They want their daddies to take care of them, in different ways, perhaps, but to offer their fatherly love and comfort nonetheless. Daddies live to give that love and comfort to their little girls.

From my front porch I’ve watched dads walking the streets of the neighborhood with an infant asleep in a pack on his back, or running while pushing a stroller, complete with a child yelling, “Faster, faster, Daddy!” I’ve watched dads and children play Wiffle Ball, dive onto a water slide, learning to ride a bicycle, and climb trees, all from the comfort of my wicker chair.

There are more young girls living in the homes on my cul-de-sac than there are boys; the dads I observe are more often enjoying those activities with their daughters than with sons. My daughters are among the oldest children who live nearby, and now and then a dad asks me for fresh ideas about what to do with his daughter when she grows up and tires of climbing trees.

“Take her to get a pedicure, and get one yourself while you’re at it,” I often say.

My recommendation is universally met with a little shock and a lot of disbelief.

“That’s women’s stuff,” is the most common response I hear.

“Precisely,” I say.


My point in suggesting a pedicure is simple. Little girls want to do everything little boys do, which plays right into dads’ hands. However, teen girls want to do what young women do, which nearly never makes sense to grown men.

I’ve had many a pedicure (buff only, please, no polish). I let the girls do my hair before we go out, help me select clothes and shoes, and give me a fashion make-over once in a while (once I inadvertently went to work wearing a pair of stick-on earrings, so be careful). I take them shopping, truly an excruciating experience for me because we cannot purchase the first thing we liked until we have visited at least fifty other stores to make sure we “really, really” liked it, but I tag along with them without complaint. It makes them happy, which in turn, delights me as well.

Attentive dads understand the importance of making children feel special in ways that are meaningful to them at their age at the time. I know a father who has triplets; two daughters and a son. One can understand why the parents of multiple birth children might elect to host only one birthday party, but that’s not how Michael does it. He allows each child to plan their own party, and then facilitates all three, one after the other on three different weekends. Whether he is hosting a baseball game, a pool party or a slumber party, each child, each daughter, gets to be his special person of the day. Believe me, they love it; I’ve seen their faces.

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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