The night before I walked my daughter down the aisle was one of the most emotional and reflective times in my life.
As a father, it was almost impossible to let go of the little girl who had always held my hand so tightly. My daughter had captured my heart the minute she was born. I stood in wonder and amazement as I held this brand new baby girl in my arms for the very first time.
Each day with her filled me with joy and such happiness. As she became a toddler, it was so much fun taking her to the park and playing with her. She made me feel like a kid too. Her smile would make my spirit soar. Her laughter would make my heart race. I had never known love quite like this before.
As my daughter entered school, it became our routine to have breakfast together before I would drop her off for daycare. Many days I would pick her up after school and take her to get a frozen carbonated drink. We would often get a brain-freeze together by drinking too fast. This always made her day special just as it had made mine.
My favorite memories were when I would come home at the end of the day and she would announce loudly, “Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home!” She would always run, full-speed, to me and launch herself into my arms. When her arms would wrap around my neck it was the most indescribable feeling. If you could put love in a bottle, this is what it would be.
Watching her become a young lady made me proud and supremely protective. I wanted the best for her including the young man who would someday ask for hand in marriage. I saw my daughter as a beautiful gift from God, precious, valuable and worthy of honor, respect and being cherished.
Only a great man could earn her hand in marriage. Try as I might, I ultimately did not get to choose her husband. Surrendering her to someone else has to be one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Looking back now, here are some things I would advise every father to do with their daughters to make this day easier:
Hold Her Hand
Touch is one of our most important senses. Touch creates an emotional bond between people. For your daughter, it builds a strong connection between you and her. Boys reach an age where they do not want to hold hands anymore. Girls rarely do.
Sing To Her
Singing can be a great comforter. I have a terrible singing voice, but I have sung to my girls from the very first day of their life. Singing, even when you are out of tune, has a great bonding ability. You will see this when you see your grown daughters sing the same songs to their children.
Read To Her
Teach her that there are great adventures in reading stories. Teach her to dream about her future and what can be accomplished when she finds her knight in shining armor.
Also, every story does not have to have a happy ending. Let her know there is good and evil in the world by reading about it.
Play With Her
Be a kid with her as long as you can. Make memories that will last a lifetime. Make a fool of yourself in front of others, while you make yourself a hero in your daughter’s eyes.
Talk To Her
Since your little girl will become a woman, she will need to process daily situations through dialogue. Talking to her includes listening to her, too.
Sometimes you will just need to be available to listen and not talk. One-way conversations with your little girl will tend to shut her down instead of promoting open and honest conversations.