It occurred to me this morning, as they skipped down the sidewalk together, that I have lost her completely. I think I probably knew it already. It was crystal clear a few days ago during this conversation:
“Mommy, I’m making a picture for Daddy and you can’t see it.” “Why can’t I see it?” ”Because it is a secret, and it is only for Daddy.” “Why is it only for Daddy?” “Because I love Daddy!” “Well don’t you love Mommy too?” “Yes, but I love Daddy more.”
Ah, nothing like brutal honesty from a five-year-old to keep you humble.
When she was little, she used to love me and me alone. With just one perfectly well-behaved child to manage, it was easy to do fun things together every day, and we did. We’d go shopping, out for lunch, take road trips, go on play-dates. We even went on vacation together, just me and her, while Husband worked crazy 70 hour work-weeks at Boeing. We were 2 peas in a pod.
Husband used to complain that she didn’t love him, and I’d just laugh and say, “Oh, just wait. When she is a teenager she will love you and hate me.” Little did I know.
I’m not exactly sure when I got replaced, but I did. These days it is all Daddy, all the time. He is the only one who can brush her hair, help her brush her teeth, help her with her homework, or drive her to school. When she wakes up in the middle of the night from a bad dream, he is the one she calls to. He is the the recipient of every card, letter, & picture, the comforter when she gets hurt, and the first one she runs to when she wakes up in the morning.
It’s not that I’m jealous, per se. I’m a little sad that those special moments we used to have, when it was just me and her, might be gone, but I try not to be upset that my little girl loves her Daddy.
You see Husband is not only good man and a wonderful husband, but an amazing father. I respect him more than he could ever know. He is our provider, our protector, our moral compass, and our strength. And when I watch them together, their amazingly sweet & tender moments, I know my girls couldn’t ask for a better Daddy.
Even so, sometimes I have to remind myself of all the statistics. Because of their relationship, my daughter is:
- 40% LESS likely to repeat a grade in school
- 70% LESS likely to drop out of school
- Far MORE likely to get A’s in school
- 68% LESS likely to use drugs, drink, or smoke when they are in school
- Far LESS likely to suffer from anorexia, bulimia, depression, or attempt suicide
- Far MORE likely to have higher self-esteem
- Far LESS likely to get pregnant or engage in pre-marital sex
I see those numbers and I am reassured. Most of the time. He is giving her is a precious gift, one that is impossible to measure. It is a bittersweet blessing, but a blessing nonetheless, and I am grateful beyond words.
But sometimes I just miss my little girl.Pin It
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