Monday, June 30, 2008

Angel on her shoulder

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about family relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which children and parents might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from your family relationships, how have they changed over the years, and what family bonding moments will you never forget? These are the stories that when heard, can change lives.

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.

I also conduct recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send an email (Go to “Links” below-right for my address) requesting an interview appointment.

NOTE: The first draft of “Mom’s Little Angel: Stories of the Special Bond Between Mothers and Daughters” has been submitted. However, I am still accepting mother-daughter stories in the event some stories from the first draft are dropped and then need to be replaced.

Now on to today’s post~

I’ve learned that Daddy’s Little Girl ranked 6th in all religious/inspirational books sold during the weeks leading up to Father’s Day! Thanks to you all who continue to show your support for my writing!

Today’s photo is of my friend Jennifer jumping into the pool with her daughter. Look close and you’ll see they are holding hands just as they enter the water. This photo was taken for “Mom’s Little Angel.”

This note comes form my friend Ann who contributed to the “Daddy’s Little Girl” book:

“I am thinking a great deal about my mom this morning as it is the 11th anniversary of her death. It is true - people never realize what they have in their parents until they are gone. I lost my dad when I was only 10 and then my mom when I was 31.

Mom and I did not always get along for many reasons, most which were definitely my fault. I feel so much guilt it hurts, but I try to remember that she loved me no matter what and I loved her, and she did know how much at the end. Everything my mom ever suggested to me that I disregarded turned out to be good advice. I should have listened to her and taken ALL of her advice. How crazy was I to think that I knew more than she did?

I bought my first home 2 years ago and one big thing that I am constantly wishing is that she saw my home. It has a great yard and she loved gardening and flowers. I never thought I would have a home, never thought I could afford one, but now have one on the very street I grew up on. Now I have plants blooming yet I don't know their names, and I know she would know. I want her to see the different plants that bloom every week of the spring and summer. I planted a small garden too. I sense her watching over my shoulder; I just wish she were really here to share it with me, and me, with her.”

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

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tadpoles

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is July 15, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Today's photo is of my friend Caroline with her daughters Claire and Hayden, plying in the creek in their front yard.

A quote I pulled from a recent email: “The first guy a little girl falls in love with is her Daddy, but the first woman a little girl wants to be like is her Mama.” So true.

You can see I haven’t written much in the last two days. I've been helping Meagan with Freshman registration at UGA. The big day draws near. It was nice to be an alum on campus, showing my kid around my old stomping grounds and watching her make new friends. It is bittersweet, though, celebrating her growing up and the approaching milestone (leaving home) while at the same time wishing she were only four years old again, when she clung to me and kissed me over and over again, when I was sent soaring into the heavens each time she ran to me shouting “Dad-deeeeeeee!”

I wonder, do fathers ever get over missing that little girl with sticky fingers and ribbons in her hair. Better question, while I?

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Home Cooking

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is July 15, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

While in NYC I was video taped doing an interview for Daddy’s Little Girl. That video will eventually become three small clips to be posted on the web promoting the book. Here are a few questions from the interview:

What's it like to photograph real life dads and daughters? How do you get the best photographs?

I prefer everyday people to pro models, readers respond better to people they can relate to, helps them to see themselves in my photographs. I get to know families in their own space, work by referral to friends and family, do things the kids enjoy and try to have a good time. Sometimes I take 200 shots to get the perfect one.

Why do you enjoy telling other people's stories?

I’m a story-teller at heart, and I believe personal experiences are better than fictional parables when trying to deliver a life-lesson. We learn from one another in every step of our lives; most everyone wants to be an inspiration to others.

What is one thing dad's underestimate about their importance in their daughter's lives?

His impact on her self-esteem. Daughters select husbands in response to her feelings about her relationship with her dad. She’ll either want someone just like him, or nothing like him. Either decision is a direct result on what the father lead the daughter to believe about herself.


In writing Mom's Little Angel, what did you learn about the mom/daughter relationship that you didn't know before?

There really are differences in the relationship between daughter-mom vs. daughter-dad. Dads are heroes who have big epic moments, but moms are more often in the background being ready, steady and consistent, creating innumerable little moments that maybe no one but the child sees.

How is it different writing about dads and daughters vs. mom's and daughters since that's not a relationship that you are a part of?

I had either been through or could anticipate many of the events other dads and daughter shared with me when describing their relationships, so it was easy to weave their stories with my own stories about my girls. Without that personal experience as a daughter or mom, I was an observer rather than a participant while collecting stories. It took more effort to get inside the story to find its heart, but I eventually got there with the help of my wife.

What is the most important time or moment in a mother and daughter's relationship?

There isn’t one, rather the constancy of “being there” is the key. Dads have big, defining moments; moms on the other hand are always holding everything together. Moms really are the glue in the household.

What does your book offer mother's and daughters?

Applause and affirmation. I make a clear statement at the end of the book that dads can’t enjoy the full potential of the father-daughter relationship without the positive influence of the mother-daughter relationship. It really is a golden rule phenomenon: if each parent encourages the other parent-child relationship, both parent’s own parent-child relationship will thrive also as a result.

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

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Tuesday

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is July 15, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Part Two of the interview that began yesterday:

How long did it take you to complete the book?

My agent, Andrew Stuart, and I began working on the proposal in September 2006. HarperOne acquired the book and my editor and I began advancing the concept in March of 2007. The final draft was finished that September. I had a number of stories about my relationships with my girls in hand that I had previously written for my blog, and I’ve been in correspondence with many of my readers for several years. Together those sources gave me a lot of content to get started with. A number of good people, including you and Fatherville.com, published my request for stories and dads from all over responded. Still, I wrote three versions of the book in six months to get it just right.

In your opinion what are some of the biggest challenges that fathers and daughters face?

Reflecting on my own life I’d have to say my biggest challenge raising girls has been managing boundaries. For instance, when must you stop kissing on the lips and holding hands in public? When are they too old to sit in your lap and when will they be old enough that they will want to do that again? It is a fine balance, deciding when to treat your daughter like the little girl in pigtails you remember so well or the woman she thinks she is, indeed the woman she is becoming. Take my youngest for example – she wants to pierce her navel and threatens to come home with a tattoo, to express her maturity and individuality she says, yet she throws herself on the couch everyday and laughs her head off watching Hannah Montana. Is there really any wonder why I am confused all the time?

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t read very much. Having said that, though, I love John Irving and most of Ernest Hemingway. David McCullough is my favorite biographer/historian and for laughs I reach for anything David Sedaris has written.

Who are your heroes?

My maternal grandfather and my father, men who worked their fingers to the bone to care for their large families.

Are you living your dream?

Absolutely. I first thought of writing a book when I was fourteen years old. Ten pages later, I gave up. However, the idea of writing stayed with me and I took a stab at it again in 1998. Four years and sixty-two rejections later, my first book was published. I’ve written another 19 since.

Since you have kids of your own--what are your greatest aspirations as a father?

Honestly, as a father I have only one aspiration – to be remembered fondly by the girls. Everything else is duty, obligation and privilege. Something I got from my granddad and dad, I suppose.

To help readers get a better understanding of your book could you briefly talk about some of the differences that dads and daughters experience versus dads and sons. What is this unique bond that you write about?

I don’t have a son so I can only answer this question based on conversations I’ve had with dads who do. Men live vicariously through their sons, repeating the things they once enjoyed in their own youth or making sure the son gets to do the things the dads missed out on. Fathers of sons very often have a “boys will be boys” philosophy and with that comes an indulgence in boyish mischief. On the other hand, fathers of daughters can’t sleep for their fear that boys will indeed be boys. I admire dads who have both daughters and sons; theirs is a challenge I’m thankful I don’t have to deal with.

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

A few interview questions

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is July 15, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

I received this touching note from a loving dad the other day:

“I sat at lunch this afternoon and had a chance to read your book, ‘Why a Daughter Needs a Dad’, which I received as a Father's Day gift this year. By the time I was done, I had tears in my eyes, knowing that what you had written about were all the things I hope to be, do, teach and mean to my little girl. While I feel I have a long way to go in meeting all of those goals, I hope my little one knows how much she means to me. I too, had hoped for a girl, a precious little bundle of girl. At one time I wanted a boy, a young man, a golfing buddy, a fishing partner, but oh how wrong I was to think a girl could not be all that and more to me.”

And here is Part One of an interview I gave about Daddy’s Little Girl:

What motivated you to write this book? In other words tell us a little bit about the story behind the story?

The reasons for writing Daddy’s Little Girl are twofold. Firstly, my daughter Meagan just graduated from high school and is now preparing to enter college. Nearly every day we are reminded that in just over three months she will not only leave home, but our community as well. For her, this book is a reflection on the times we’ve spent together since I wrote Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, and a reminder that though she may leave the nest, she can never leave my heart. Secondly, my step-daughter, Linley, has now lived nearly four years with me and is embracing a new kind of daddy-daughter relationship, one that can be had with a step-dad. For her, this book is a promise that she can have as much of me as she wants; in these stories I hope she sees just how much that can be.

Are there other books brewing in your mind?

I’m currently working on its companion, Mom’s Little Angel, a collection of stories exploring the nuances of the mother-daughter relationship; it should be available for Mother’s Day next year. It’s an interesting project because while I am hearing stories similar to those told to me for Daddy’s Little Girl, I am also hearing stories that are distinctively feminine.

I’m also working on a memoir, tentatively titled Outnumbered and Overruled, hoping to share my personal stories someday about living as the only male in a household of four. I’m sure that’s an experience many men can relate to.

How did you come up with the title, "Daddy's Little Girl"? Were there other titles?

There were several working titles while the book was in development but the final one was the idea of my editor, Cynthia DiTiberio. I think it’s perfect.

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

Friday, June 20, 2008

Life of the Party

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If you’d like to submit a daughter-mom photo to display on this blog, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is August 1, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

A portion of a story I received about a mom who makes every occasion a special one:

“Each year everyone's birthday included a home made cake decorated with small toys representing them. One year my uncle and aunt had just moved and my uncle wasn't up to celebrating his birthday that year, but my mom showed up with gifts and a cake decorated with four wheelers because that was something he had always wanted.

When my sister and I were still living at home my mom would buy Congratulations Graduate cakes on the last day of school. She does this EVERY YEAR. When my sister graduated from kindergarten my mom got her and me elaborate new dresses and after the assembly we went home where she had put together a plate of hors d'oeuvres, a cake, and a bottle of champagne with flutes decorated for the occasion.

Whenever someone has a medical procedure done she gets them a get well "package" full of pampering things like bath gel, lotions, etc. As the grandchildren accomplished the time consuming feat of potty training my mother would give them a gift. I'm not talking a two-dollar pack of play dough, it would be something the child had been pining over but Christmas was too far away. Halloween and Independence Day were both two day celebrations. For Halloween my sister and I went trick or treating and to our school parties. My mom would drive us around after the party to do more trick or treating to the houses that were still awake and afterward go home and watch scary movies. We wouldn't get to bed until after midnight. Mom let us stay home from school every November 1 so that we could go through our candy and relive the night before festivities.

In the small town that I grew up in there used to be a 4th of July dance every year for adults only. My mom loved to go the dances and had many friends who would travel from afar to attend as well. However my mother saw it unfair that kids could not go, especially if they were chaperoned by their parent. So she would smuggle us in so that we could dance the night away with her as the opening of our Independence Day celebrations.

On the 4th my sister and I would don our 4th of July outfits, which were always a mandate for my mother, and participate in the parade, program, and sports with mom cheering and picture taking from the side lines. We would barbeque and do fireworks every year; we still do only now my sister and I have husbands and children who join.”

Wow, that mom knows how to have a party!

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

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mom is tough!

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is July 15, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

The following is a continuation of Darla’s loving recollections of her mom:

“My mother is one of great strength. You should see her biceps. She says it was from all the sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and scrubbing. I do that, but I have not ever had muscles like her. But that isnt the only strength I am talking about, she is strong in many ways. For one, I think her motto was "mothers aren't allowed to be sick". I don't ever remember her being sick, although I am sure she had her moments, she never let on when she was.

A couple of years ago she had a few health issues. She didn't let us kids (we're all out of the house, but call quite often) know anything was going on. She had been quite sick for days, my dad threatening to take her to the doctors, but every day she kept insisting she was feeling a little better that day. After a few days of me realizing she hadn't been on our family website, or answering the phone, I get a hold of my dad who finally said 'enough is enough' and got her to the doctors. It was a hard thing for her. She doesn't like feeling wimpy and it was hard for us to have her like that too. She ended up having hyperparathyroidism; she was producing too much calcium. The levels were so high the doctors were surprised she wasn't in a coma... that is how tough she is!

She also had great strength in just the basic trials of life. She had a positive attitude when things were a little rough. Even though our family had some tough times (as most people do), we still had fun. We still had family outings. It didn’t have to be anything fancy; a trip to the beach, to the mountains, to a lake, one of my favorite memories is having a picnic on the family room floor while watching a movie. She would put out a blanket, we'd have all the paper products to eat off of and have sloppy joes with potato chips and soda.

My mom also had some accident prone children and I am amazed at how calm she would be. Half the time my dad was gone at work and this was before cell phones. She had to deal with a lot more accidents with her girls then I have had to deal with all my boys. Sometimes she would just be the doctor and butterfly them up; she seemed to know how to deal with it all.

My mom is my friend. I still have letters or notes that she has written me in my teen years. I remember her sharing with me that she was pregnant with one of my younger sibs even before she told other people. I remember feeling quite special about that. I am glad that she is my mother and I am glad to have her as a friend. I love my mom!”

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Doubt

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is July 15, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Please note: the deadline submitting stories has changed. The new deadline is July 15th.

Today’s photo is of Mary and Lily, another set of my kind and photogenic neighbors. It was so difficult for me to crawl inside that oven to take this picture, but I managed somehow. Getting out was the real problem. Yahoo, only two more photos to take to finish what I need for the book!

I recently received this sweet musing from Darla:

“Just a couple of days ago a friend lost her mom after a few months of illness. I've known this friend for about 3 years now. I never met her mother but have noticed they didn't have a very close relationship. They live only a couple of miles from each other yet I sensed there was a lot of distance between them. I thought it was great that the final months of this mom's life, though, her daughter was there every day to help take care of her. Before things got too bad, she would take her to lunch, a movie, to the coast or the city. They had some good days together even though they had so many not so good days.

Yesterday I spoke with this friend and she mentioned a moment when her mom was in a weakened state but still coherent and she whispered something. After repeating it, she heard her mom ask her to hold her hand, so she did. She told me she was so surprised and even a bit uncomfortable doing it. Her mom was not an affectionate woman and my friend has no memories of the two of them ever holding hands.

This got me to thinking of my mom. Every one of her children grew up feeling loved. We got plenty of hugs and kisses, held on her lap, held hands walking through the store or just standing next to each other at church. Even while we were teens there would be times when you could catch one of us plopping down on her lap. I am so thankful for that; I just can’t imagine a child not getting that kind of sweet treatment. I love to hold my children, hug them, kiss those sweet cheeks, and hold their hands whenever we go for a walk. I love the relationship I have with my mother, and I hate that I live so far from her. Thank goodness for phones and the internet.”

Linley gave me the sweetest card. It says: “Stepfather, we may not look alike, but there’s no doubt we are family. Happy Father’s Day.” Yep, I cried.

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It is my honor

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If you’d like to submit a daughter-mom photo to display on this blog, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is August 1, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

I usually receive what turns out to be my favorite fan mail right around Father’s Day, such as this jewel:

“It is hard to write to someone you don't know about something so personal as my relationship with my father. But I feel compelled to share with you the beginning of what I hope will become a family tradition that involves your awesome book "Why a Daughter Needs a Dad". But first, a little history...

My father, whose given name Edward James, was shortened to Jim to prevent confusion between him and his father. Although, I don’t think that was necessary, because there could not be two more different personalities than theirs. I loved my father more than any one I have ever loved. He was, undeniably, my biggest fan, my gentlest critic, my co-lover of great music, my best teacher, the biggest and strongest rock in my foundation and my best friend. I will never be able to adequately describe how deeply thankful I am to have had the opportunity to learn from his example, how to treat others and how to exercise my faith in God.

On Christmas Day, 2002, I gave my father your book for Christmas. He was 78 years old. I have always been straight-up with my Dad, for to have been untruthful to him would have plunged a dagger into the heart of our life together. So he always knew how much I loved and respected him.

Four years later, in September, 2006, just shy of his 82nd birthday, my Dad died. Because of paralysis my Dad was unable to move on his own for the last 6 weeks of his life. It was this paralysis, though horrible for him, which fortunately allowed him to remain relatively pain free until the cancer affected his breathing 2 days before he died. During those 6 weeks, my mother, brothers and sisters (5 of them), nieces and nephews and friends were able to spend hours and hours remembering with him, laughing with him and enjoying him and what he meant to us.

Toward the end, my Dad chose to tell me some very important things. That I would always be his baby, that I was special in his eyes and that he wanted to look closely at my face so he would always remember it. I miss him terribly, but I am so grateful to have had these special moments with him.

So, now to the point of my email… following my Dad’s death, my Mom – broken in half with grief, returned some of our gifts to us that Dad had treasured so much. Among the items I received was your book. I have kept it on my coffee table since then and many friends and family have commented favorably about it.

Today, I will pass this book along to my nephew in honor of his 1st Father’s Day. My Dad’s first great-granddaughter was born this past May 14. Next to the note I had written to my Dad in 2002 on the inside cover, I wrote to my nephew that I wanted to let him know how much I loved him and believed in his ability to be as wonderful a father to Olivia as my Dad was to me.

So you see, I thought I should thank you for giving me the tool I used to share my love for my Dad with him. It has meant so much to me and I am sure will live on generations to come.

Happy Father’s Day, Greg and thanks again. I hope my words here are successful in communicating how much your work has meant to me and my family.”

They do; I am honored, indeed.

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

Monday, June 16, 2008

Back in GA

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If you’d like to submit a daughter-mom photo to display on this blog, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is August 1, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Today’s photo is one I took last week of Jill and Linley before Linley left for summer camp. Yes, BabyGirl sings in the car on the way to the market and all the way home.

I found this mention by Salee Reese in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette when I came home late last night:

“Gregory E. Lang illuminates that invaluable and irreplaceable bond in his book, “Why a Daughter Needs a Dad.” He writes: ‘Nurtured with love, the relationship strengthens and brings out the best in both, softening the rough edges of fathers and providing strength and security for their daughters.’

Laced throughout Lang’s small but powerful book are moving photos and snippets of wisdom on how dads ‘nurture with love.’ Lang is the father of a daughter, so his writings are ‘loving reflections’ of what he hopes to bring to her life.

I can only agree with Lang: Dads can bring out the best in their daughters.

Girls thrive when they experience the unwavering dependability of a father. When a daughter gazes into her dad’s eyes, she needs to feel how special she is to him and not worry that he might someday remove her from his heart and that he will never turn away. When she feels abandoned by him emotionally, her pain is horrendous and frequently manifests in a weakened sense of self-worth.

On the other hand, the steadfastness of a dad’s adoring eyes – his enduring excitement to see her – makes her shine inside. The result is an unshakable self-confidence.

As a personal example, I remember when I was in sixth grade telling my dad I wanted to be an astronomer when I grew up. Dad smiled warmly and said: ‘I’m convinced you can be anything you want to be.” Dad’s vote of confidence and his solid belief in my abilities and what I could achieve has carried me throughout my life.’

And speaking of my dad, fond memories were activated when I read one of the lines from Lang’s book: ‘A daughter needs a dad who does not mind when she steps on his shoes while dancing.’

Yep, fathers give us daughters something very special. Let’s never, ever lose sight of that.”

Thanks Salee!

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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Post #470

Pictured above are the women in Mario Canessa's life. He is a stry in and of himself, bring his family to Americ from Peru and pursuing the American Dream, the legal way. Go Mario!

Headed to the airport for our trip to NYC. Check back next Monday for news of events in the Big Apple!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meagan's Song


I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If you’d like to submit a daughter-mom photo to display on this blog, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is August 1, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Today’s photos areof my neighbors, Bethany, mom, daughter and son. They will appear in Mom’s Little Angel. What a great couiple of shots, if I may say so myself. The joy each new generation brings!

On to today’s story:

Becky, my ex-wife, and I have been divorced nearly fifteen years. During all of that time we have shared joint custody of our daughter. Meagan lives for a time with Jill, Linley and me, and then with her mom, and back again. Our homes are less than five miles apart. Becky and I talk on the phone or email one another often, negotiating agreements about extending new privileges to our daughter who has, chronologically at least, reached adulthood. As Meagan prepares to leave home for college in just two short months, it is a time for Becky and I to reflect on how we’ve done as divorced but co-parents.

As I’ve written elsewhere, my relationship with Meagan has changed, but so too has her relationship with her mother. Together they still enjoy lengthy and enthusiastic conversations about boys, girlfriend spats, celebrity news, or the latest reality television show. They still shop for hours, have their hair and nails done side by side, and get dressed up to impress when going out on the town for dinner and a movie. And for a while, it was her mother who Meagan turned to for consolation, protection and understanding. As a woman, as a mom, it was Becky who could comprehend what I could not, at least not until I began to enjoy the interpretive support and insight of Jill.

But back to the change in their relationship. I think it is I who is better prepared for Meagan’s coming departure. In the last several months and in those precious few that remain before Meagan takes up residence in a college dorm, I have been slowly releasing the reigns. I’ve been giving Meagan more and more autonomy, responsibility and discretion, making sure, I believe, she can handle unbridled freedom before it is too late to rush in and rescue her. Her mother, on the other hand, is tightening her grip on the reigns a bit, fearing her daughter is on the verge of leaping from the nest and not knowing if she can fly. A role reversal of sorts is taking place as Meagan now calls me for suggestions about how to deal with her mother, a mom who tearfully professes, “I’m not ready for you to leave!”

So this story is for Becky; it is for the three of us of our original family. It is about a song Becky spontaneously created in the middle of the night while breastfeeding our daughter all those years ago. It is a song a mother sang to comfort her daughter, a song that I think now will comfort the mother, too:

I'm speaking of Meagan with the hair of gold
and eyes of blue
she's sweet, I'm told
sweetest little baby, sweetest little girl
sweetest little baby in the whole wide world
ask her for a kiss and she'll probably give you two
ask her for a hug, she'll say I love you
sweetest little baby, sweetest little girl
sweetest little baby in the whole wide world
ask her for her heart she'll give it away
ask her to brighten a rainy day
she is filled with sunshine
she is filled with love
she was sent down from heaven above
ask her for a kiss and she’ll probably give you two
ask her for a hug, she'll say I love you
sweetest little baby, sweetest little girl
sweetest little baby in the whole wide world
that's our Meagan!

Becky, believe me, our daughter can fly. You have helped me make sure of it.

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beach Talk

I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, 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. There are no format or length requirements.

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.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If you’d like to submit a daughter-mom photo to display on this blog, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is August 1, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Today’s photo is one I took at the beach last week. After two previous failed trips to the beach (due to rain) with a plan to take this photo, we finally had nothing but sunny skies to work with. Hope you like it; it’s Jill and Linley. While it is supposed to suggest a deep mother-daughter conversation, I’m sure they were discussing how to coerce me into getting another outfit for Princes.

Here’s a sample story from the current writing project. It’s called The Kitchen Table:

“The kitchen table was where Nell forged and improved upon her relationship with her daughter, Yvonne. Everyday beginning in grade school and on through high school, when Yvonne came home the mother and daughter sat down at the table together and Nell asked questions about Yvonne’s day. It never mattered what Nell had been doing before Yvonne got home, she'd stop everything so that they could talk. She listened with interest to everything her daughter had to say, no matter how juvenile or silly it may have seemed at the time, believing that if the issue was important to her daughter, it should be important to her as well.

To Yvonne, time spent there in the kitchen at that round table made of teak wood, the one where her family gathered every evening to say the blessing and share a meal, was when she learned that even a child has thoughts and feelings of value. In the beginning they discussed which boys she liked, who didn’t reciprocate her admiration, and the things her friends might have said behind her back. As she grew older and more mature, they began to talk about college, marriage, faith and God. No matter what they talked about, having her mom’s time and ear instilled in Yvonne a sense of importance and an understanding of what being an attentive, loving mom really meant.

Today day as Yvonne sits at that very same table, its place now in the kitchen of her own home, she remembers all those afternoons spent in earnest conversation with her mother. And when she looks up and sees her son sitting across the table in his highchair, she smiles, eager for their conversations to begin.”

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

Monday, June 09, 2008

We're Back

Today's wonderful image was provided by Lindsey Bundy. She says:

"This is one of my most favorite pictures of my daughter and I. She is now two and a half, and these were taken when she was 14 months, and every picture just sums up so much of what my heart can't say. My mom always argued with me that she loved me more, and that someday when I had a child I would understand. The funny thing is that I still believe I love her more, the love of a child to a parent is hard to match. However, I also believe nobody has ever loved and adored and truly treasured a child the way I do mine. So in the end, I suppose I think that nobody can compete with the amount of love I have in my heart. "

Thanks Lindsey!

Yes, we are back in GA, all safe, happy and a bit more tanned. Jill and Meagan are still asleep and Linley is already on the road on her return trip to the mission camp in VA. I'm sure she's asleep, too; BabyGirl has been on the road since 4:45 AM.

I have a stack of mail 8 inches deep and too many emails to count, plus three interviews and two photo appointments in the next three days, and then Jill and I leave for NY for some Father's Day promotion activities in the Big Apple, so the next couple of posts will be brief. Today, just the highlights:

Why a Daughter Needs a Dad has been the #1 best-selling inspirational gift book on Amazon.com for the last 10 days!

I've lost 22 pounds since the beginning of the year! All my pants are baggy & saggy. Suddenly I'm fashionable!

Daddy's Little Girl is climbing, too. It hit a high last week of #15 among books about fatherhood on Amazon.com. I'm certainly hoping it will reach at least in the top five during this week, the last six days before Father's Day. Of course #1 is better.

Once again, we didn't win the lottery.

OK, new photos tomorrow and a short mother-daughter story, plus other tidbits as they rise to the top. Thanks for visiting!