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Daughters | Inspirational Parenting

To Summer at Eighteen

November 1994

Dear Summer,

Eighteen years ago I stood looking at you—fresh-born—through the big glass window in the hospital nursery, watching the nurses try to count your tiny toes. Minutes old, you were bright-red-screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs unbounded life, squirming and kicking in every direction—quite a challenge to those toe-counting nurses. How I wanted to reach through the window, to be closer to you as you celebrated your newfound freedom. From behind the glass, I breathed a promise: I would never stand in the way of your freedom. « Continue reading »

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First Day Of School

She started school this morning,
And she seemed so very small.
As I walked there beside her
In the Kindergarten hall.

And as she took her place beside
the others in the class,
I realized how all too soon
Those first few years can pass.

Remembering, I saw her as
She first learned how to walk.
The words that we alone made out
When she began to talk.

This little girl so much absorbed
In learning how to write.
It seems as though she must have grown
To girlhood overnight.

My eyes were blurred by hastily
I brushed the tears away
Lest by some word or sign of mine
I mar her first big day.

Oh how I longed to stay with her
And keep her by the hand
To lead her through the places
That she couldn’t understand.

And something closely kin to fear
Was mingled with my pride.
I knew she would no longer be
A baby by my side.

But she must have her chance to live,
To work her problems out,
The privilege to grow and learn
What life is all about.

And I must share my little girl
With friends and work and play;
She’s not a baby anymore —
She’s in Kindergarten today.


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Empty Yesterdays

My daughter loves to watch musicals.  It is one of our favorite things to do as a family.  Even as young as 5, she was captivated by every musical she watched (expect for Footloose for some reason).  The other night, we got blankies and piled on our bed to watch The Music Man.  I was struck by a quote from the show. « Continue reading »

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My Child, My Teacher

There are moments in books and movies when a small gesture reveals a profound insight about a character.  They might decide to go barefoot, or refuse to board a bus, or turn their face upward to taste the rain.  After consuming enough literature and films, we learn that these moments matter and that the author is helping to reveal a character’s deepest self with these gestures. Recently, I was reminded that those moments aren’t limited to fiction, nor to adults.  My 1-year old daughter Ayla taught me that lesson last week when I found her asleep in the bathtub.  Let me explain. « Continue reading »

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I Have Found Myself, I Am A Dad!

I am standing in a hot, smelly gymnasium.  I can feel the sweat trickling down my back.  My right arm is aching from holding up the video camera.  My back hurts from hunching over so that I don’t block someone else’s view.  And yet here I am with a big smile on my face… as happy as ever because tonight I am watching my daughter perform in the play she has been working on for the last few months. « Continue reading »

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Proud Father of a Tomboy

I work from home and consequently get to spend a lot of time with my daughter.  I am not sure if I can take total credit for her Tomboyishness but I hope that this at least suggests that I have a good relationship with her.  « Continue reading »

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Parenting Lessons From A Suffering Child: Part 2

I felt like we had become spiders living in a web of wires and tubes. They clung to her feet and chest. They protruded from her nose, back, arms, and other uncomfortable places. It was difficult to move her or to even change her diaper. It was nearly impossible to pick her up. She was in a constant state of discomfort and pain where sleep comes in small spurts and only when weariness finally overcomes pain. « Continue reading »

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Splitting a doll

When our daughter was 5 years old, we started giving her a little allowance for cleaning up her room to get her used to the idea of money.  As soon as she ever got any money she would immediately want to go buy a stuffed animal (this is still true at age 8).  « Continue reading »

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My Daughter is a Riot!

Just a quick funny story that happened today.  I was wrestling around with my daughter this afternoon.  After a few minutes, we were just laying on the floor next to each other taking a break from the ultimate fighting/tickling tournament in which we were engaged when I asked her if she realized I had created a website on which I was telling stories about her.  « Continue reading »

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The Highlight Of My Week… Grocery Shopping?

The other day I took my daughter grocery shopping with me.  At first I thought it was going to be a “hurry up and finish” experience but it ended up being the highlight of my week.  « Continue reading »

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