Relationships

Daddy’s Girl

This week’s post comes from Ellen Mongan, freelance writer, speaker, and mother of eight.

16207268025_9445f0e894As the first man in her life; a daddy loves and holds his daughter first, and he always has a place in his daughter’s heart. A daddy’s girl is the apple of her father’s eye. She thinks he “hung the moon.” No matter how small a man her daddy is; she knows that her dad is plenty big enough to have her back. She has assurance that daddy will always catch her if she falls. He teaches his daughter so many things and since a daddy’s girl admires him so, she is a quick learner.

I will always be a daddy’s girl. My daddy taught me to “be myself, no matter what!” and “to be true to yourself!” He took the words to Sinatra’s signature song, “Have It Your Way!” literally and lived. He walked to the beat of that tune. My daddy also gave me the confidence to believe I could be whatever I wanted to be. This hope has given me the wings to fly through life’s tough spots and to climb every mountain life presents. He taught me that life was an empty canvas and I could paint whatever picture I wanted on my life.

Maybe those life lessons began to take route the day of my Kindergarten graduation ceremony. We were running late. As my mom got my younger siblings out of the car, dad took my hand and we sped toward the auditorium. I secured my cap with my hand as I sprinted, all the while trying not to trip over my white graduation gown. As I neared the door, I was shocked to see that my classmates had proceeded in and were already seated on the stage. A tear ran down my face, I was sad that I had missed the moment. Daddy knew just what to do. He always did! He gave me an encouraging nod and said, ”Ellen, go on up there! Go get on that stage!” Those words gave me the confidence I needed, as I processed in with boldness up onto the stage, all alone but unafraid. I found my seat among the graduation class! When my name was called I proudly walked up to receive my kindergarten diploma.

My dad never tried to be a square peg in a round hole. Not my daddy; he never bent or blended. He was comfortable in his own skin. As a daddy’s girl, I learned to sing in the rain, dance through the storms of life and never apologize for being different. If daddy was the driver, the radio was always on and we sang together loudly. A frequent tune was the song, “High Hopes!” The song is about an ant that thought he could not move a rubber tree plant, however since he had high hopes he overcame his doubt. “High Hopes,” as my theme song has made disappointment, defeat and discouragement never an option in my life. High hopes were deeply planted in my soul and took me airborn as a Stewardess even though I was very young and way too short. High hopes flew me through the airwaves as a radio and television speaker. High hopes gave me the lift and drive to view life as an adventure, and what a ride it has been!

The security of their daddy’s love plants firm, strong roots of trust into his daughter’s heart. To her, daddy is a giant of a guy, who protects her from all harm; somewhat of a super hero wearing an invisible cape. She faces life confident and unafraid. This gift cannot be duplicated. A wise father will try wholeheartedly to make all his daughters daddy’s girls.

I never felt more like my daddy’s girl than on my wedding day. We gathered together at Key Biscayne, Florida at sunset by the ocean, with family and friends from all around the country . The view was breathtaking as the groomsmen rolled out the white carpet and the bridesmaids processed down the aisle. Daddy once again, was my escort, just like on that kindergarten graduation day so long ago. I took his arm instead of his hand. All the butterflies left me as we processed down the aisle. This time daddy got me to the monumental occasion on time. It seemed like a lifetime, waiting for the wedding day to arrive. I was so ready to marry the man of my dreams. I felt so safe, so proud, and so loved as we processed together toward my groom with the backdrop of the ocean blue. It was picture perfect. As daddy looked me in the eyes he smiled and said, “Ellen, I think that you forgot the music.” Our picture perfect wedding day could have been shattered, but as always, daddy knew just what to do. Without skipping a beat he began to sing, “Don, don, da, don…don, don, da, don…” Joy filled my heart as I joined in the melody and squeezed his arm tight. Daddy always brought the music and the high hopes.

When we reached my groom, dad proudly placed my arm in Patrick’s and a calming peace took over my heart and I knew everything was going to be all right. Being daddy’s girl prepared me in some ways to be Pat’s wife. I knew Pat be a man that I could love and trust. A man, like daddy, that I could count on to have my back that would always catch me if I fell. As the sun set over the horizon and we exchanged our “I do’s,” I felt as if my groom hung the moon.

 

photo credit: Father Daughter Love via photopin (license)

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One thought on “Daddy’s Girl

  1. I know this is over three years old, but I just came across it today. It’s a beautiful tribute from a daughter to her father. I wish every girl could experience this. I didn’t, and when I was younger this would have elicited some tears of self-pity. At 54 I can read this and just be grateful that some women have had this experience. I think too many of us never did.

    My father died last year and our relationship was better than when I was a child. He had dementia, but ever before that he was more tender-hearted than he had been. Tears came easily to him when he watched news stories, and he expressed sadness than I had never married.. He was a good man in many ways – honest, ethical, hard-working, and put providing for his family first. He took us to church and gave us certain kinds of security. But he was not good at expressing positive emotion.

    He rarely, if ever, complimented me (or my mother or brother.) He did not say “I love you.” Neither did my mother. He was not physically affectionate, other than giving us kids a good-night kiss on the cheek – a habitual thing in my family. I knew I was intelligent, like my dad, and did well in school, but I never felt competent in most other ways, afraid of failing at most things. He might spend a moment showing my brother and me how to do a task, but it never developed into us learning anything, because he was impatient with our childish efforts and ended up just taking over the task. (My mom was the same way but without words of criticism.) Somehow I knew he loved me, but as a child, I wasn’t sure he liked me.

    Although I always had a lot to be grateful for, I used to feel like I had “a hold in my heart” from my upbringing. I grew up with a ton of self-esteem issues and never felt a man could really love me unconditionally. I even have had a hard time believing that God isn’t always a little disappointed in me. I used to be extremely self-conscious – would never speak up in classes, even through college. Thinking of giving my subjective opinion in front of a crowd made me immediately anxious – my heart would pound and mouth would go dry. My dad was very analytic and often found flaws in my childhood “logic.” It’s taken therapy and years of life experience to become more confident.

    Things are easier now but I feel like growing up and becoming a wife and mother may have happened for me if things had been different. I think today more mother and fathers realize the need children have for positive words and physical affection. Just being a responsible parent is not enough. I don’t blame my father anymore. I think he just didn’t know how to give what he had never received himself. I’m grateful he gave what he could and that he mellowed with age. I think he would have been a different father if he had known how.

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