A recent study suggested that men who have daughters tend to become more conservative. I get the point of the piece but I question the conclusions. What really happens is that children tend to shape their parents more than they, their parents that is, are willing to admit. Relationships, loving ones, leave both people different, changed.
I often hear couples describe how the other person changed. The truth is both partners change. We are often unaware of our own transformations. Patty and I look back at photos of our dating years and it is clear there are physical changes. I had way more hair 34 years ago. We frequently note the ways we have grown up. After all, we were just kids.
If living with another person does not effect much change, add in another human being, even two. And that brings me to the nexus for this post. I want to think I am self-aware enough to know that the sorts of sanctifying experiences that have made the most marked differences in me as a human being have come being Daddy to two daughters. Our two girls are both very different and very much alike. Making adjustments to the first daughter after growing up with two brothers certainly came with starts and stops. Or to borrow a phrase from my childhood, it came a bit herky-jerky.
Add in that second daughter, the one they say makes a great man, at least in the wisdom of a couple of friends who proudly are Daddy to two daughters, and any balance one thought they had with the first is immediately destabilized when he realizes they are their own people. This is surely not a discovery made only by Daddy’s of daughters. But, I would not know about raising sons. Ask me about being Doc to two grandsons in the future and I may be able to draw some comparisons.
Twenty-five years ago we carefully navigated a foggy street to Charlton Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas. We barely made it to the hospital before Tommie was born. I admit to being glad I did not add mid-wife to my resume that morning. Looking back over the past twenty-five years I am proud to say that indeed these girls made their Daddy. And, it took not just one (Patty) or two (Kimberly) but three (Tommie) to bring out the best in their Daddy.
Tommie, we hope you enjoy number 25 knowing how much your Mom and I love you and are so very proud of you. We are all better people because of you. And, I think I speak for Patty, Kimberly, Craig, Jason, Cohen, and Max.
See you at Dairy Queen soon.