A Sweet Father's Day Memory
I came across this blog post I wrote about seven years ago, when my daughter was 3. It brought a tear to my eye. In honor of Father's Day (in two weeks), I'm posting it again.
When a Man Becomes a Father
She had him at flicker. The first time he saw his baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound monitor, he was mush. And he’s been that way about her ever since.
I would say it was at that six-week prenatal appointment that my husband Bobby really became a father. His life changed at that moment. He was proud. He was excited. He had tears in his eyes. He wouldn’t let go of the grainy “first” photo of what would become his little girl. He carried that ultrasound image with him everywhere, showing it off to everyone, saying, “This is my baby!”
The morning Siena was born Bobby would not leave her side. He refused to let her out of his sight until the hospital staff fastened the promised security device around her ankle. On that day he became her protector. Protect her will be his number one priority for the rest of his life.
Since then, he has also become her book reader, errand partner, fun provider, comedian, horsey, ice cream companion, spoiler, explainer, and the first man she will ever love. He is the model on which her future relationships will be based. A father is the first man in his daughter’s life, and teaches her about how men treat women (by how he treats her, her mother, and other women). He builds his daughter’s self-esteem by telling and showing her she’s valuable.
Siena doesn’t know this yet, but by having an involved daddy, she has a better chance of a successful future. Research shows that children with involved fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure, to be confident to explore their surroundings, and to have better peer relationships. They tend to be more sociable and less likely to get in trouble. They are better academic achievers, experience overall life satisfaction, and demonstrate a greater tolerance for stress and greater self-control.
Bobby’s role in Siena’s life is more important than she will ever know. Siena’s role in Bobby’s life is just as important. This he knows.
In honor of Father’s Day, I interviewed Bobby and Siena about their father-daughter relationship.
My interview with Bobby:
Me: What does fatherhood mean to you?
Bobby: It’s an honor to serve as a father. I’ve been given the exclusive opportunity to be Siena’s father.
Me: What have you learned about yourself since becoming a father?
Bobby: The importance of being a good example. It really motivates you to be a better person. I learned that I have an extra abundance of love I didn’t know I had.
Me: What kind of father are you?
Bobby: Engaged and involved.
Me: What are your hopes for her?
Bobby: To learn to never compromise her self-respect, and to make good choices, and have an enjoyable life.
Me: What can you teach her?
Bobby: The value of hard work, the importance of family, and unconditional love.
I interviewed Siena earlier that day. Even though she’s only 3, she provided some insight.
Me: What do you love about Daddy?
Siena: I love my Daddy very much.
Me: What do you like to do with Daddy?
Siena: Daddy gets up in the morning. The he sleeps in a little bit. Then he lets in the sunshine.
My interpretation: Daddy is there for me. I know I can always count on him, every day, morning and night. He takes good care of me, is very involved in my life, and loves me unconditionally. He makes me happy. My heart still flickers for him.
Happy Father’s Day to my husband and devoted fathers everywhere. You let in the sunshine every day.
Update: Here are Bobby and Siena a few weeks ago going to the Father Daughter Dance at her school!
- Lori Granieri