“Well now, I guess she ain’t been much spoiled,” he muttered, proudly. “I guess my putting in my oar occasional never did much harm after all. She’s smart and pretty, and loving, too, which is better than all the rest.” ~Anne of Green Gables
There are some things that only a Daddy can do.
He can carry a toddler and a preschooler, a whole block to the car, at the same time.
He can catch a five year-old when she leaps off the ballet stage into his arms, with roses and the biggest smile.
He can start a frog hunt under a swampy bridge and locate two of the little green guys in the time it takes you to realize what’s going on. He can show and explain them to the children while they watch, mesmerized.
And then when you get home, he can turn on the music and swing your seven year-old around the room, and her face will light up, and you’ll be the one who’s starstruck.
He can share little gifts and attention, and show her that she’s special, show her that she’s loved. Like Matthew Cuthbert did in Anne of Green Gables.
Brother and sister Matthew and Marilla decide to adopt an orphan child. Marilla tells Matthew that she alone will be responsible for the bringing-up of the child. She supposes that she’s better equipped for it, being a woman and all, she tells him. She permits him to “put his oar in occasionally,” but warns him not to spoil the girl.
What Marilla doesn’t see is how the late-night chats between Matthew and Anne will help shape the girl’s character. She can’t imagine how the two “kindred souls” will spur each other on, how Anne will be encouraged to be brave, to believe in herself, by the one who understands her. When Marilla finally does see, it turns out that Anne has grown into the best, most beautiful version of herself, thanks to the equal influences of both Matthew and Marilla – a combination handpicked for Anne by the “Almighty Himself.”
Perhaps my sister said it best. When we were sitting on the bench together, sweaty palms gripping iced coffee, watching children play. “I told him, ‘I can model self-confidence for our daughter. But you will be the one to teach it. You’re the only one who can show her what she’s worth.’” This wise woman understands the unique place a father has in his daughter’s life. Not only does she encourage her husband and daughter to spend time together… she holds those times in a sacred space. She recognizes that her husband will parent differently than she does… and that those differences are a good thing. A God-thing.
We mamas… sometimes we feel like we have to have it all together. But then we take a step back and look at this family thing and realize, Oh, sometimes I don’t have it all together… for a reason. Because there are things only he can do.
So to all the husbands and fathers who speak life to your daughters… thank you. Whether you do it with secret late-night chats like Matthew, or frog-hunts like Jeremy, or drum lessons like Kyle, or understanding and prayer like Chuck. Whether you use daddy-daughter dates or notes in the mailbox to tell her that she’s loved. Whether you show up at her games or show up when she needs a tickle or show up when she needs someone to watch her favorite cartoon.
Your presence matters in her life. Your presence is a gift in her life. Your voice will likely shape the way she sees God, the way she sees herself.
Thank you for saying yes to the indispensable gift of fatherhood. May the Greatest Father there ever was encourage you and lift you up this weekend.
Happy Father’s Day!
*Friends: what’s one thing you appreciate about a daddy in your life? Or if you’re a father reading this (thank you) what’s one thing you love about being a daddy? I treasure your comments and thank you for reading.
In His Love,