I watch my child grow and as a father I wonder if I can protect her from all the dangers the world poses. The drugs, the alcohol, porn, violence, bullying, the list of things that can hurt her seem endless. Sometimes I wonder how I might react if she lost a limb or an eye in an accident. How will I react then? How will we react as a family then?
I have fatherly fears, hopes, and wishes. I hope my daughter will grow up to be a graceful, independent, strong woman but I know that means an interesting growing up phase.
I want to tell my daughter that cuts and bruises will heal. That words will too, after a time. Sometimes after a season. I want to teach her how to bounce back. How to take life’s hits and get up stronger. To get back better. If she faces bullying I want to be there to hold her, to teach her how to handle it, to say she’s not alone.
I want to build a protective bubble over her so nothing can hurt her but I know that’s foolishness. That very act will be one that stunts her growth and lead to resentment.
As a father, I never see onscreen father daughter interactions the same way I did before the joys of fatherhood. Even seeing younger characters portrayed on screen brings different reactions to me. It’s a story being played out. The character’s story. Written by writers of varying degrees of talent.
My child will have her own story. Written by her own hand. Directed by her own heart. But guided by the love of her father and mother. That much is certain.