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The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, June 13, 2008

Daddy's Little Girl

You are the god and the weight of her world
So fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
-John Mayer, Daughters

This might be two posts in one, but follow me down the rabbit hole anyway. So, last Sunday it was Children and Youth Day at the church I visited. The choir loft was at least 50 kids deep. So, when they sang one song, three girls shared the “solo” part. Two girls were older, maybe 8 or 9 years old, and the other girl was significantly younger and too cute! They would hand the little one the mic and she would sing her one line with all her heart. Everyone laughed and applauded. You know how we do. So, when they were finished, pastor calls the little girl down and asked, “How old are you?

“Three,” she said. More ooohs and ahhhs.
“You are so pretty. Did you know that?”
“Yes,” she said shyly.
“You did? Who told you you’re pretty,” he asked.
“My daddy,” she said. You could almost hear hearts breaking.
And then pastor asked the father to stand up. And when he did, he had the biggest grin on his face. “She got you wrapped around her finger,” pastor said.

Indeed. There is nothing like having a daddy who tells you that you are beautiful and makes you feel loved on a daily basis. I thank God for mine. And I wish more women had a father like mine. I know that having a father in the home, not having a father in the home, the kind of father you have (whether in the home or not) has an impact, both positive and negative, in so many areas of a woman’s life ranging from how they view themselves to how they interact with other men. Like Chris Rock said, “every man has dated a woman with daddy issues…”

Now this is where I go farther down into the hole, but stay with me. Awhile back when I lived in Atlanta, my friend and I were sitting at a bar of a restaurant named after a jewel and the day of week. They had great 2 for 1 drink specials. Can’t beat that with a bat. So, friend and I are drinking and there’s a group of guys next to us doing the same. So as drinkers are apt to do, we stuck up a conversation with one another. We learned that a majority of the men in the group were married. Rum Punch’s Disclaimer: There’s nothing wrong with a guys’ night out every now and then. End of Rum Punch’s Disclaimer But this was these men’s routine: drink with one another every night to avoid going home. How do I know? Because that’s what they said to us.

“I don’t want to go home. My wife nags me,” the chorus sang.
“Well maybe if you went home and didn’t leave her alone on the daily to raise the kids, feed the kids, wash they asses, help them with homework, put them to bed, she wouldn’t nag,” we said.

And then it was on like popcorn because these men had the nerve to use that tired line and say every man cheats. What? Not our daddies. Oh yes, your daddies too, they said. Those were fighting words. Because these men didn’t know about us. Word up Yonce. Or our daddies. We had daddies in our lives that came home every day on the regular, I mean same Batman time, same Batman place, regular. My homegirl’s daddy used to pick her up from school and make her soup and baked potato, or some “weird” combination that she loved, every.single.day.

I had to let them know that I don’t have any memories of my father coming home late after a night with the guys, missing the everyday moments of my brother and I growing up. What I remember is having dinners together as a family, him helping me with a science project, taking us kids for the day so my mom could get some rest. And I say this not to brag, but to make the point that even though I don’t know the intricacies of my parents’ marriage, growing up I learned and watched my father’s character and actions and they spoke volumes, and were louder than any words ever said. And you know this can work in reverse, right? Yeah... However, in terms of words spoken, my father always said that, “A man doesn’t have to cheat. He chooses to cheat. There is something called free will and self control.” Tabernacle, Synagogue! But as usual I digress...

The thing is that little girls (and sons too, but stay with me) need love from their daddy, regardless of if the father is in the home or not, regardless of the crazy baby mama who won’t “let” you see your child (that’s a post for a whole ‘nother day), regardless of if a man sees his child every weekend or every day. Certain things like knowing you are wanted and loved, feeling important, worthy and valued, can permeate no matter how hard someone tries to block it. And certain things can linger for too many years, like feelings of abandonment, of being unwanted and unloved, or not loved enough.

I had this post in mind before I realized that Father’s Day is this Sunday, but I’m glad it came to me. And I’m glad that last Sunday I saw that little girl and her daddy’s love. It gave me hope. It gave me encouragement. It made me smile. And it made me reminisce. Because despite all the negativity, the statistics, the mess we see and hear in the news and in our everyday lives, there are great men out here, getting the job done by being involved in their kids’ lives. So, if you know a man: your daddy, granddaddy, step daddy, uncle, cousin, baby daddy (I'm sorry father of your child), deacon, neighbor, friend, who is putting in the work to be a good father, tell him how much you appreciate him this Sunday (and of course everyday-but you know) And if you’re a father who is making sure your daughter knows her worth, well, Happy Father’s Day! And shout out to my daddy, the best daddy in the whole wide world who still tells me I’m beautiful! Everybody say awwwww...

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!


mint julep said...

I was just listening to my homie talkin bout that she don't let me see daughter mess. Man what kinda daddy is you? Tis why we could never be.

Cheers to my stepfather.. I thank God for him who cooked for us stood up for us and loved us even tho we weren't his blood. Get well soon!

MrsMeany said...

CL Smooth said it best in "They Reminisce Over You": I always had a father/When my biological didn't bother.
My step-dad has been there us from DAY 1. He's the only father that we know. I do not fully know the drama that my Mom went through with my "biological", but I know that she would NEVER tell him that he could not see us/be a part of our lives--he simply chose not to. Granted, they had us when they were both relatively young, but STILL...my Mom handled hers! She had NO choice.
Honestly, I'm not mad at him though...His loss. I hold no ill will toward him and I've never even tried to re-connect with him...EVER. I rarely mention "him" when it comes to "Dads" or "Fathers" or even "dead-beat Dads". He just doesn't exist in my world. I don't even mention dude. He's not a part of my life, so what's the point??
My step-dad was there for every dance/gymnastic/piano/clarinet recital (POOR GUY!!), every school play, every graduation AND he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.
Any man can be ejaculate and impregnate...but not all are FATHERS or DADS. Kudos to my Dad and all other Dads who step in when these BOYS don't want to be MEN.

jameil1922 said...

awww! dead @ Tabernacle, Synagogue! hilarious. the little girl was too cute! my dad still tells me i'm beautiful, too! in between he's picking on me but i've learned it's his way of showing his love. yay daddies!!

Maria said...

The subject of my father is loaded with all sorts of strangeness. I can honestly say that he's been an awesome dad to me and my brother in a lot of ways - the stereotypical "Father Knows Best" paradigm - but he's also intentionally neglected my half-brothers (both of whom were born via an affair he had with a co-worker).

I often wonder how it's possible that my Wonderful Daddy is the same Deadbeat Dad my half-sibs never knew.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

thanks for the FD wishes, i hope my lil girl loves me as i do her
she is running my dog store like it is hers already

Rum Punch said...

@ mint julep & mrs meany - Sounds like y'all had step dads who held it down! Excellent!

@ jameil922 - Welcome! Yayy daddies indeed! Don't daddies have their own way of showing love? I realize that whenever my dad gets on me, he is just pushing me past what I think is my potential. I love that he sees that I can do better and better!

@ maria - I understand. I have some male family members who are the same. Some of them have really integrated all their children into the family, others only acknowledge those from marriage. I don't know what to make of it either...

@ torrance - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! And I have seen pics of your baby girl. She is going to break some hearts! But I'm sure you are doing a great job teaching her and preparing her for the world! And pointing her feet towards Spelman of course! :-)