The bonds that Tom Brechlin created with his daughter at a very early age have followed them both into adulthood.
Tom Brechlin was prompted to write this by the article “What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew.”
When my daughter was small, we had a routine. In the evenings, we would sit on the sofa and watch Mary Poppins. Inevitably by the time we got to the part of the movie where the song “Feed the Birds” came on, she would be cuddled with me, sound asleep.
Many years later, at my daughter’s wedding reception, she chose the song “Feed the Birds” for the father-daughter dance. Needless to say, I lost it when she laid her head on my shoulder and said, “Daddy, I remember. Thank you.”
My daughter is now grown and has become a mom of two outstandingly great little boys. As anyone who has small children would know, time is a premium these days and I’ll be the first to admit that the quality one-on-one time with my daughter has been lost in the day to day shuffle of life.
It never crossed my mind that my grown married daughter, who is now making those special memorable moments with her own children, would give any thought about her adult relationship with her dad. My role of “dad” appeared to be, in my eyes, superseded by my role as “Upa”(Grandfather in German).
I have always believed the old saying “A son is a son until he takes a wife but a daughter is a daughter all of her life.” This Christmas proved that old saying is still intact. This is not to say that my importance to my son as his dad has diminished, but my relationship with him has become more of “mano y mano.” On the other hand I will always see myself as “daddy” to my daughter.
And this Christmas, I was brought back to my never ending role as “daddy”. With tear filled eyes, I opened a Christmas card given to me by my daughter. The decorative cover said, “You’re such a loving dad and such a wonderful grandpa.” But it wasn’t what was printed on/in the card that made it important, if was what my daughter wrote.
I wanted to do something special with/for you this year. I know you’re always there for me but I find myself missing our special bond at times. It will always be there but I think we need a boost. I have passes to see “Saving Mr. Banks,” I want to go see it, just you and me, just like the old days. It’s the story of how Mary Poppins was made and all of its magic. I can only imagine the bond/love you felt with me cuddled with you. It’s the same I feel with my babies now. I know you can’t be here for ever but I feel like I will always need you Daddy so very very much.”
I guess if there is any message I want to impart to others is that no matter how old your daughter gets, she still needs you, you are still “daddy.”
This is for you “punkin” …. I love you!
photo: Daniel Bye / flickr