Four years ago, my wife and I were getting ready for the birth of our second child, our daughter. I reminded my wife that if we didn’t like her, there was a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy at the hospital. I thought that was a brilliant joke. My wife, in the throes of labor, didn’t agree.
Here’s what our little angel looked like back then (more or less, today isn’t exactly her birthday):
Today, our daughter is an amazing person: smart, funny, devious, cunning, loving, brave, loyal, shy, brash. Being her dad is exhilarating–and sometimes exhausting. When we play dolls she tells great stories, often modern-day retellings of classic fairy tales. A current favorite is one where “Cindagrella” makes a detour to the beach in her Corvette and marries Groot. She is a great friend to both her older and younger brothers…and also knows exactly what to do when she wants to make them cry. She’s really something. I’m glad we kept her.
One year old: Toes.
Two years old: Cake.
Three years old: Bubbles and a Barbie.
Springtime in the park.
Gymnastics: Fear, then fearless.
To cap this post off, I’m sharing a poem that captures (for me) some of what it feels like to be the father of a little girl.
By Gregory Orr
Yesterday, against admonishment,
my daughter balanced on the couch back,
fell and cut her mouth.
Because I saw it happen I knew
she was not hurt, and yet
a child’s blood so red
it stops a father’s heart.
My daughter cried her tears;
I held some ice
against her lip.
That was the end of it.
Round and round: bow and kiss.
I try to teach her caution;
she tries to teach me risk.