Monday night our church softball team played in the championship game and we won it! Ahhh yeah!
A curious thing happened in me. I found myself wanting my 5 year old daughter to be the most impressed by the feat. Once I saw Eowyn I had to give her a big hug and I found myself excited to hear what she said to me.
It wasn’t profound, nor was it unexpected. She simply screamed a joyful scream and said,
“YEAH DADDY! You did it!”
Then I caught myself asking Eowyn more questions like “Did you see Daddy hit the ball?” and “Did you see Daddy catch the ball?” and so forth, looking for her to say more good things about me. She poured on the love and gave me tons of kisses.
My wife and I drove separate to the games so when it was time to leave Eowyn got to decide who she wanted to ride with. I was 100% fine with her riding with mom, but secretly inside really wanted her to ride with me. When she chose to ride with me I couldn’t have been happier.
I get that much joy because I have gone through nearly 5 years of being second favorite to my wife. I know that’s the way it is. To start out I have no breastaurant, and beyond that I am a guy. So for more than 4 years the girls pick Glade first and me second. But now, Eowyn picked to ride with me, and the last three nights in a row she has wanted me to read stories at night time. Instead of crying when mom says ‘dad is reading stories’ the girls cheer. Oh man do I love that!
When we finally got home from the games it was getting pretty late… about 10:45 pm.
My sister and her husband, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Michelle, had just taken Eowyn, Hayley and their cousin Liberty to ‘Build-a-Bear’ and let each of them make their own stuffed animals for their birthdays. It was an awesome gift. Eowyn made a dog and had brought it to the softball games.
When we got home she couldn’t find her doggy. She just got the dog the day before and she was so sad she started to cry. It was a very honest and sincere cry. She thought she left the stuffed dog named Maddy at the softball fields. The softball fields are more than 30 minutes away, plus they lock the gate to the park after the games.
My daughter was so devastated about her misplaced stuffed dog, I was ready to hop back in the car at 10:45 at night drive an hour round trip and jump the fences just for a chance to find her dog. There was no hesitancy in me that I was ready to do this.
Luckily my wife had put it in her car (remember Eowyn drove with me) and after a few minutes of searching we found the dog.
Afterward I was thinking about the way I felt about Eowyn congratulating me and about how I was so ready to hop back in the car and drive more than an hour at night to find her dog. It is not because I am such a good dad, I have a long way to go before anyone anoints me as a good dad, and the only people that the vote of ‘Good Dad’ will matter from is my kids.
I realized that I want to be my daughters Hero.
I don’t need affirmation from my 5 year old, nor do I need to hear her say nice things to me.
What I love is to hear in her heart that she thinks her daddy is the biggest, coolest, strongest and best guy in the world.
What I desire is for my daughters to look at me as an example. An example of honor, an example of righteousness, an example of purity, an example of fun, an example of goofiness, an example of a dad, an example of how someone should treat them.
And I hope and pray that I live my life worthy of those things.
What would have made the trip back to the fields to find the dog worth it would have been those 5 year old arms wrapped around my neck, and knowing that action would cement in her heart that her dad has always got her back.
What it boils down to is that from this day until my daughters are all grown up and taking care of me…