Yesterday was my daughter's birthday. She turned a whole one. It wasn't as eventful as it could have been. We put off a lot of the party until today, since the rest of the family is coming in today for Christmas. The birthdays of your kids always makes you think about things. I cannot believe she is already one. Just two days ago, she was zero. And now she is one. One year ago we were sitting in the hospital with her - brand new and wrinkly. And now she running around and being so sweet.
Every day when I come home, she hears the garage door open and starts to get excited. She starts going, "da...da...dada" and toddles over to the door. When she sees me, she gets a huge smile and says, "HI! DADA! HI!" Then I pick her up and she looks at her mommy and points at me and goes, "Da...da...da." My son will usually jump up and say, "Daddy! He's here." And then go back to his videos or puzzles or planets.
There is something different about a girl. I love my boy to death and he loves me. That is not even up for debate. But I had always heard about the special bond between a daughter and her daddy. I never really knew what was meant by that until she came along. I didn't do anything special with her because she was a girl. I was less nervous - having already had one child. But, if anything, I was more apprehensive about caring for her in some ways BECAUSE she was a girl. I just knew one thing - it had been drilled into by a long line of advisors and friends. Girls need their daddies. Boys need them too, but girls really need to know that their daddies love them and think they are beautiful and wonderful. And I believed it. I had seen too many girls over the years that made poor decisions or felt poor about themselves because of the way their father treated them. And that wasn't going to happen to my girl.
But there was something special between me and my daughter from the very outset. She cuddled me differently. She lit up when I came home. (Don't get me wrong - she is still a major mama's girl) There was something there on her part too that was different. Her first word was dada. When I would see her, I would wave and say hi. Very early she learned to wave and soon was telling everyone hi. And she's still my girl. I joke around sometimes and say, "Man, I wish she liked me a little bit." Deep down, there are few feelings, though, that are like knowing your kid adores you. She love me and I love her. And she is just awesome. Beautiful, smart, funny, happy, sweet, cuddly. And awesome. Inspiring awe. Awe that God entrusted this beautiful gift to us. Awe that He created something so amazing. Awe that she trusts me and loves me so much without really knowing me. Awesome. (My son's awesome too, but it isn't his birthday. He'll get his own post some other day.)
Happy birthday, my little bug. Even though it is your birthday, I got the best gift of them all. You.