May you, fathers and warriors of your family, never take lightly your impact on your daughters.
This week I told Darla she should consider letting Aunt Jazz cut her hair. The battle we endure every morning as we get tangles out is not worth it. She thought about it and announced she wanted short hair like cousins Pearl, Eve, and Delayne. That afternoon Jasmine gave her a cute bob. She was delighted.
On the way home Darla suddenly burst out, "I don't like my short hair! I want it long! I want it back!"
Wide eyed (and slightly panicked) I turned to her. "Slow down, Darla. Talk to me about why. You loved it a few minutes ago."
The tears started. "Mom! What if Daddy doesn't like it? What if he doesn't think I'm pretty anymore?!"
My mouth dropped open. "Darla, you know Dad doesn't care if it's long or short. He loves you not your hair."
My appeals went unheard. When we picked S. up she hid her hair under her blanket. He asked to see it and she refused until we got home. We came into the house and she bravely took her blanket off.
"Darla! I love it! Look how beautiful you are! You look like you could be six years old with that cute haircut." S. continued, examining and complimenting as she began to glow.
After a few moments she turned to me with a big grin. "Hey Mom, I like my hair now," and flounced off to play with all the confidence in the world.
Dads, you have the immense responsibility and privilege of being the number one man in your daughter's lives. Yes, moms tend to braid better, pick out coordinating outfits, and have sympathy for a wide range of emotions. But they can't build confidence the same way an approving dad can. They can't model how a woman should be treated.
When a little girl watches valiant princes rescue and treasure their princesses, she thinks of her dad. (This window of time is short- don't take it for granted!) Someday she'll pick a prince with you as her reference point. Will you be thankful or concerned if she marries a man like you?
Have you earned the right to walk her down the aisle? Not because she's your daughter, not because you've provided a roof over her head- but because you've interceded for her in prayer, you've protected her from creeps, you've modeled integrity, listened, given counsel, and been the covering over her.
Darla spent much time drawing a picture with herself and her Dad this week. She asked for help with spelling so it could say, "O Dad I love you. Your secret note".
S. has been sobered as God has given him grace to be fully present in each moment as a dad. He realizes the honor and challenge it is to be the man for his little girl. S. taught Darla to ski this month. Yesterday they had a date to the library for beginning reader books. He bought an Easter dress for her when he was out the other day. She immediately tried it on and twirled proudly for us... but mostly for her handsome Prince.