This is my second reflection leading up to Father’s Day on Sunday about the most cherished vocation that God has given me; to be the dad of three of the most amazing young ladies that I have ever known. I think I am struggling with the fact that my daughters are going to be independent adult women soon, and that I may not have the same influence over their lives as I do now. I’m prayerfully working to be ok with that.
One of the things that God dealt with me about some years ago is causing me to accept the fact that these three girls ‘His daughters’ that He has given me be the duty to be their earthly father. Indeed, there was a time when I was too possessive of them, and I put them before God in my life. Yet, in crop leethese recent years I actually felt that God had done a good job of breaking me from that error, but something happened recently that caused me to realize that I still have more work to do in that area . . .
A couple of weeks ago I took my oldest daughter to two days of orientation at the university she will be attending this Fall, and I loved it. We had some really good Daddy/Daughter time there together. We went to a number of sessions together, ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. On the way there I introduced her to more of my favorite music – R&B from the 60’s and 70’s and the Crooners. To which, she remark, “Dad, you listen to some strange music”. I suppose it was so strange that I caught her singing the chorus to a few of the songs.
So, I learned later, that Tuesday night she got lost on campus coming back from a social with the new students. This was right before she called me to tell me that she was leaving and on her way back to the dorm. To my surprise, I found out the next day from her mother about this, and over the next couple of days I found myself getting a bit upset. It is my interior feeling that my daughters should look to me as they always have – as a superhero. They are always supposed to call Dad when they are in trouble. It’s my sense that I am supposed be the man in their life that they come to for everything until they get married.
So, after I collected my thoughts I called my oldest girl and told her about these feelings of mine, and how disturbed I was about her not calling me. Her defense was that she didn’t want to disturb me from sleeping, and being that I didn’t know my way around campus either she didn’t think I could help. The latter excuse really annoyed me once again. I’m dad – I’m superman!
The next day I called a friend of mine and told her how I was feeling, and about the conversation I had with my daughter. Her response was that I was being silly about the whole thing. That girls have to grow up eventually and learn how to do things on their own. I still didn’t want to hear that. I’m dad – I’m the man in their life until they get married.
Then later that night I started thinking about this whole thing. I realized that this wasn’t about my daughter at all – it was all about me. I’m not dealing well with them growing up and becoming adult women. No one told me about this part of parenting. This is the part where she takes everything that her mother and I taught her and use it or not use it to make good and bad decisions based upon her own free choice. This is the part when I let go of the bike again and let her learn how to ride without training wheels. This is the hard part . . .
So please keep my daughter Daeleon in your prayers as she transitions into this new phase of her life, and keep her mother and myself in your prayers as well; that we keep our trust in God as we always have to guide and protect ‘His daughters’.