This is not what I expected to write about today. Heck, I have four other topics written down and ready to write, but I really like thinking about this one.
I have written about what a daughter means to her father many times. I think about it this way — I married someone who takes me to one level, a relationship with a girl who goes beyond what I have known before with a female, closer than any relationship before if not just because of the obvious physical bond. Marriage brought me to know a woman in a way that goes beyond what I know with my mother, a closeness and intimacy that I believe God created. My wife wanted me in a way no other woman could or should know me, a need to please me and know me that God indeed created, a completion and pleasure that filled the purpose God created me for. And my wife gave to me a daughter, who completes me in a whole other way. I get to see myself through someone who looks at me in a way that comes closer to God than I ever will be for anyone else.
My daughter is someone who is me in a way that no one else will ever be. She wants to please me in a way her mother never can. I am her hero, a man who has little to do but to be her father.
That is all that I want.
God gave me a blue eyed redhead, a curly haired strong willed and confident little woman. There is so much of me in her. I admire her for shunning what her mother tried to force on her, yet absorbing the best of what her mother and I have to offer to her. She is motivated, vulnerable yet confident, an intelligent girl who intimidates all the boys who are looking for the weak and easy. My girl is a leader. My girl fills in the gaps of what God did not give her by sheer will.
And she wants to please me, like only a daughter can. I understand now what the word complete means, because my wife can not complete me on her own, but the daughter she gave to me helps bring that completion to its full.
My daughter is not an athlete. I am. Let’s not go too far with that. I am not a truly gifted athlete, but I have a bit more physical gift than your average Joe. Baseball and basketball are joys of mine, enough that I have experienced enough success playing those sports in my lifetime that I can call myself above average. Both of my children have grown up with a father who likes to play sports.
Each of my children have played sports from an early age, my son starting baseball at age 4, a boy who was larger than his classmates who elicited bigger expectations than he was ready to fulfill. My daughter decided to try softball as a little girl, never really gifted but a favorite because of the effort she always demonstrated. Her first year of fast pitch softball, her coach gave her the “Charlotte Hustle” award at the end of the season.
Sports were never really my daughter’s thing. She turned to her studies and music as she progressed through school. I didn’t care. She was my daughter and I always have liked what she has done. I have always liked when she looked at me for validation, wanted my approval, so easy to give. My daughter has always been better simply because she wants to be.
Maybe that’s why, when she turned 13 and wanted to try playing organized basketball, I was so happy. It wasn’t that she wanted to play basketball, I had a boy who loved to play the game. My daughter wanted to play basketball for me. If she wanted to play basketball, then I had to be her coach.
So I did. And she succeeded. A few months after she started park district basketball, she made the middle school team. My daughter was a started on that team. I like to think that some of her success was because she listened to me, played the game the way I taught her to play the game. Her game was smart, played in a way that took advantage of the advantages that her body and abilities gave to her. My daughter played two years of organized basketball, then focused on priorities of academics and music. She liked to play the game, but she knew what would be better for her future.
Six years later, she still likes the game. Today she texted me, excited to tell me about how well she played in an intramural basketball game at college. She wanted me to know. Maybe I will win like you did, she told me. My daughter is the only one that remembers and cherishes the stories I have from winning college intramural basketball championships.
Daughers are cool. Daughters are a gift to their fathers.