For Kailyn’s 9th birthday, I thought I’d share with all of you, what it’s like being her daddy. Happy Birthday Kailyn!
Being Kailyn’s Dad
First of all, being a single dad is hard. How does that saying go? “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” But being her dad is easy. It’s being able to “put up with” unconditional love. Having a best friend. Having someone look at you like you make the sun rise and fall. Like I’m invincible. These are all reasons it’s the best feeling in the world.
What it Means For Me
As her dad, this means being held accountable as not only a good dad, but more importantly a good man.
In addition, this means I have to be the example of how a guy should treat a girl, and also teach her how a girl should treat a guy.
I became the educator teaching her about the things in life school won’t teach her and how to make good decisions.
One challenge I had was that I figured out that I had to learn to listen, and more importantly letting her just be herself.
Being aware of this, I’ve found, it’s mostly about just being there. Being there for her temper tantrums and for her best moments, being at her concerts, shows, piano recitals, school functions and in life.
Lessons To Be Learned
The hardest lesson I’ve learned in 9 years of being a dad, is that I can’t control life. I have to let her be her. I learned that can throw road blocks in the way to help steer her in the right direction, but I can’t make her go any particular way. Giving her the map doesn’t mean she’ll take the right path. But it will 100% show her the right way. I can’t stop mean girls from being mean. I can’t stop a boy from breaking her heart. But I can teach her how to prepare for these things . . . And as I said above . . . I can be there. And I can wish her Happy Birthday 1000x on her special day!
In our house we have rules, but the most important one is that we don’t hide things from each other. I won’t punish her for telling the truth and being honest. This doesn’t mean she won’t get my dreaded look of disappointment, but she needs to know I’m always here . . . physically and emotionally. I’m here.
I don’t know what the teenage years will bring. I wasn’t equipped to potty train a 2 year old by myself, and I had no idea what I was going as a single parent at that age. But I figured it out, and I’ll figure out the next 50 years. I’m not foolish enough to think I have all the answers or that I’m prepared to raise a teenager. But I’ll figure it out.
What I’ve learned is that I don’t need to sit future boys down while I clean my shotgun and have “a talk”, I need to prepare her not take less than she deserves and most importantly to respect herself above all.
I realized that I don’t need stop stop her from going to parties. Instead, I need to teach her how to call when she needs me to pick her up. I figure that if I lead by example, the boy who treats her as good as me, will get her attention. Then MAYBE that boy will be the one she chooses.
I can’t make all her decisions, that’s for sure. If you’ve ever met her, you know that stopped when she was about 4. She’s a strong willed little girl. I just need to prepare her for the “what if’s” and how to handle them. That’s my mission.
The other day she said, “I think I’m too old to call you daddy anymore. I’ll just call you dad.” I said, “that’s fine. Then I’m not calling you little princess anymore!” And that stopped that.
Just Being A Dad
Being a Dad is the greatest honor I never knew I longed for. Being HER dad is a blessing. I’ve never felt more loved. More trusted. More important. She’s what kept me alive through the hardest time in my life. She’s MY rock. Not the other way around.
Kailyn, I love you with everything that I am. I will love you till I’m no longer on this earth and beyond and I will love you forever. You are everything I could have asked for in a daughter. You make my world and THE world a better place. You’re going to do great things and I can’t wait to be on the sideline for that. Happy 9th birthday my little princess. These have been the best years of my life. Every birthday I say, “this past year was the best year ever” . . . And then the next year gets better. Thank you for being you. I love you mostest.
Happy Birthday my Little Princess,
Check out my blog about Father’s Day!