THE WAY SHE LOOKS AT HER DADDY
2 weeks ago, I was on the beach where I was married. I had my arm hooked into my Dad's and as we walked and watched my daughter skip through that white sugary sand, I told her, “this is the exact place that Grandpa walked me down an aisle of red rose petals to marry your Dad”. She smiled big and giggled. And all I could think was, one day this will be her. And her father will have to give her away.
When I look at this image, I see so many things. The way she intently looks at her Dad, it’s both confidence and seeking approval. The way she wants to score 100% when he grills her on her math. He’s tough. But so is she. And the way she loves him is unconditional. And strong. Just like him. And as we approach father’s day, I can’t help but think about what their relationship is now, and what it will become.
As I walked towards the ocean with my Daddy and realized it’s been almost 10 years, I said to him, “Can you believe it’s been 10 years?” And he replied. “Of course I can. You were marrying your husband right here and you were so happy. And also the most beautiful girl on earth.”
Instead of getting choked up in front of him, I looked at the ocean, took a few pictures, hugged my husband, kissed him on his lips and took it all in. I might have cried just a little bit.
I’m a lucky girl. And I owe a lot of that to my Daddy.
Our relationship has always been simple, not complicated. He has been supportive from the day I was born, and has drilled me when I needed it. He’s always showed up, even when I didn’t expect him to, like the time I dated the crazy guy. He has instincts. And heart. And yet trusts me immensely. And I witnessed this last week with him, in my living room. I said something very personal to him and he had the most perfect most simple response. And it was like lightening struck. It made perfect sense. And I looked at him with such respect and admiration. Just like my daughter sees her daddy.
My daughter and I might be matchy matchy and quite the mama and mini. But we are also different. And our fathers are different. Unique and celebratory on all levels, they are our fathers. And that bloodline runs deep.
That’s the thing about life and family. God willing, we get to witness it all. And when I pay real attention to date nights for Daddy and Kona Blue and watch the way she tries so hard to show him she’s smart and capable. And when he kisses and embraces Mommy, she immediately joins us and feels the love and comfort. That’s when I understand the truth behind legacy.
It’s quite extraordinary. It's like seeing your life unfold again in the form of your daughter and your husband. And all I see is the growing relationship between a daughter and a father. It’s like witnessing the actual growing of the strongest Redwood tree you’ve ever seen. It will have it’s ups and downs. It’s highs and lows. It’s extreme growth. It’s silence and uncontrollable laughter. It’s kind of like a tear running down my husbands face when you watch her watching him to see if he’s watching her first intermediate gymnastics class. And he is, and it's magic. It’s watching your Dad kiss your son and cry real tears of joy in the moment of bliss between a Grandpa and a Grandson. And I will watch it all. And remain captivated. And pray that the reel of all of this is embedded in my brain till my brain doesn’t work anymore. Because one day, my daughter will see this image, and she’ll understand why she looked up to her Daddy so much. Because he’ll be watching her make all her moves and he’ll still be the same Dad he’s always been, because that’s who God chose to be the man in her life.
And suddenly it’s all so familiar and I can’t help but think…..Thank you God for giving me every year with my Dad. Because he's the best. And every year, it’s been a lesson, in love and in life. But more importantly, more happy than I can remember. And for the record, that’s worth a lot.