It Started With Toast - A Commitment to My Daughter
Mild-mannered frustration echoed through the house like there was an eight-year-old ranting in the kitchen at more than 45 minutes past her bedtime. And there was. Apparently, the hunger pangs she was experiencing were transitioning to pangs of death, and a fixing some toast for a quick snack was literally a life-saving endeavor. In order to speed up the process, my wife kindly offered to assist with the aforementioned toast making. By doing so, she inadvertently kick-started the rant. Boy, was it a doozy! The main bullet points ranged from how the munchkin liked her toast buttered, to the level of brownness on the bread, to the fact that she’s old enough to make her own toast, and, no, she doesn’t need any help!
As I listened, mild amusement began to mix with a bit of concern for my future, and it hit me. She’s eight. While hormones probably deserve a bit of the blame, for the most part, they are innocent right now. So that means that there is exponential potential for increased ranting ability as she gets older. Oh. My. Lord! Horror slowly began to spread its icy tentacles through the very core of my being. I managed to turn to my wife and squeak out, “Sweetheart, you do realize that it’s all downhill from here, right? It’s not like she’s suddenly going to become less independent as she gets older…” As her laughter turned to tears and back again a few times, I had time to think...
It is an honor and a privilege to share my life with two amazing women (one is still a princess in the making…), but the world around us is crumbling like crazy. Morality changes based on people’s moods, politicians change their stances just as quickly, and it is pretty apparent to most anyone paying attention that men, every man from your local sex offender to the neighborhood grandfather that looks out for the kids playing on the street, are being lumped into a single ghastly category. Popular media outlets call men vile names, and revile us as evil or untrustworthy. Meanwhile, Hollywood and various politicians wage an all-out war against men and fathers.
In the face of this full court press, I, as a man and father, have a couple options. I can either give in, apologize for my existence, and let culture dictate my role and my responsibility, or I can stand strong in the face of these attacks, and be the husband and father that I am meant to be. For me, the choice isn’t difficult.
Sorry world, but I choose to love my girls with all the love I can muster. I’m going to love like crazy. I’m going to love enough to contradict my daughter when she does something wrong. Love enough to hold her close when she messes up, and love enough to hold her accountable when she crosses a line. I’m going to spoil her, respect her, work to understand her, and teach her so much that she will never find another man good enough to replace me. Until she does…
And when she does, I’m going to cry. Most likely uncontrollably, and in private. When I’m done, I’m going to do my best to effectively instill the fear of God into the new man in her life. Then, I’m going to pray like a man possessed that he has the guts to love her and their children the way I do I now.