The relationship between daddies and daughters is so incredibly important.  It can raise a girl up to become an amazing and well-balanced woman, or it can crush a woman’s soul.  A girl’s daddy is her first love, whether he treats her well or not, and that has a huge impact on the rest of her life.

My Daddy is also a wonderful Grandpa

I am lucky to have an incredible Dad.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I was a total daddy’s girl growing up.  He played with me, nurtured my love of music and learning, read with me, and inspired my area of study in college.  I am like my father in so many ways; some that I’m thrilled about, like our love for social interaction and our tenderness for other people, and others that I could maybe do without, such as our mutual difficulty with memory and our struggle with budgeting both time and money. I have no experience with absentee or abusive fathering.  I have been nurtured and supported and protected by my father for my whole life.  Even when I didn’t like how he was protecting me (cue arrival of my Sweetie), I knew that’s what he was doing. I feel so incredibly fortunate.

In choosing a husband, I knew it was important to find someone who would be a good father.  My Sweetie denied vehemently, back when we first started dating, that he would be any sort of father, much less a good one.  But I knew better.  I couldn’t have described the exact traits he possessed that were going to make a great father out of him, but I trusted that they were there.  And I was right!

Surprise, you’re an awesome Dad!

It took some time for parenthood to become a priority in our life plan.  We both wanted to finish school, get started in a career, and be stable enough financially to know we’d have a roof over our heads before we brought another life into this world.  We had been together for 13 years (married for 7) before we started trying to conceive, and when the Bean showed up, we were completing our 15th year together.  Needless to say, having another person in the house who needed me more than he did was a shock to my Sweetie’s system.  Practicing parenthood on two cats and a dog had helped, but it’s totally different.  He rallied well and it took him no time at all to fall totally in love with our little alien (she really did look odd when she was born at 3 lbs, 13 oz – an adorable alien).

This is the Bean’s favourite way to fall asleep

Even before the Bean joined our family, my Sweetie was a conscientious provider and a devoted husband. The arrival of a baby girl only intensified that for him.  But the other thing it has done is soften him up…a lot!  I knew, when I decided to marry my Sweetie, that a baby girl would be the best option for our family, because there is no way he’d be able to resist being wrapped around her little finger.  Of course, that’s not something we could control, but God knew what he was doing by giving us a girl.

Picnic at the park – one of my Sweetie’s favourite things to do with family time.

I believe God also knew what He was doing giving us a child with Special Needs.  One of our greatest fears going into parenthood was the possibility of having a child with Special Needs.  Two couples we knew had recently become parents to children with Down’s Syndrome, and it especially terrified my Sweetie because he didn’t think he’d be able to handle the extra work and pressure.  But once again, he has exceeded his own expectations of himself, and is great at remembering to challenge the Bean at her level.  He rarely spends time with other children (he’s not really a kid guy), so he doesn’t have much to compare to.  He can just enjoy the Bean and her accomplishments without activating his competitive streak.

And my Sweetie sure does love his Bean.  He frequently tells me how much he misses her (and me of course) when he’s at work.  It’s hard for him to leave for so many hours every day, but he also loves his job and feels torn constantly.  I love him for that (among other things), and one of my favourite things to do is to watch my Sweetie and our Bean playing, laughing, and cuddling.  Bean brings out the SILLY in her father, and it’s so much fun.  He also rescues me from her when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  He provides a calm, positive presence when I feel like my sleep deprived, malnourished soul is about to implode.

I love watching my Sweetie grow as a father.  I love that he doesn’t feel like he’s doing a good enough job, because it means he’ll always try to be better.  But I need to tell you all a secret: he’s a fantastic father!  Just don’t tell him I told you.  I want him to keep striving for more. 😉