I have known from a very early age that I wanted to be a father, particularly the father of a daughter. My heart has always melted when I held little baby girls. Sometimes I grew envious when watching toddler daughters crawl into their fathers’ laps to cuddle. The love shared between a daughter and a father seemed to me to certainly be special; it was something I wanted very much to experience for myself. I was overjoyed when my daughter Meagan, my only child, arrived.
Ten years ago Meagan was only eight years old, in the third grade and learning to write in cursive and do division. Back then I helped her with her homework, I brought home her first puppy and often I carried her around on my back. We were buds.
One night, thinking about our relationship and wanting to make sure she understood just how much I loved her, I wrote a book about my thoughts. That book, my first to be published, was called “Why a Daughter Needs a Dad.” Reflecting on my relationship with Meagan, my hopes and aspirations to be a good dad, I penned one hundred reasons why I believed a father was an important and essential figure in a daughter’s life.
Shortly afterward, I wrote a second book, “Why a Son Needs a Dad.” I drew from my memories of the things my father had done for me and of how he has influenced my life over the years, and wrote another hundred reasons emphasizing the important role fathers play in their sons’ lives.
In this column I will take a reason from either book and tell you the story behind it, explaining why I believe what I wrote. I will also explore some of the themes in my latest book, Daddy’s Little Girl: Stories of the Special Bond Between Fathers and Daughters.
I hope that you will follow along with me as I revisit words I have put to paper during the last ten years, words that for me at least, have been guidestones for this journey we call fatherhood. Together, I’m sure we will find our way.