I’d like to tell you a bit about my little girls; except they really aren’t so little any more at ages 35 and 31. Both of my little girls have grown to be beautiful women; both of my little girls have successful careers; both of my little girls have husbands that love them and they love their husbands. Both of my little girls are mothers and they know what a hard job that is; both of my little girls have a greater appreciation and love tor their mother since they now have that experience themselves.
I love my little girls deeply and one of my greatest gifts in life is the privilege and honor of being their dad. When I think back over the thirty-plus years of that gift, there is a broad spectrum of emotions that flood through my mind. We enjoyed some fantastic times as a family; we celebrated their accomplishments as they grew from phase to phase, in sports, academics, and life-choices. Our world came apart at times when they made what we thought were poor choices, but we never stopped loving them. In fact, it was because of that deep love that our world came apart during those times. I don’t know why, but a couple of things have happened over the past few days that have brought some of those experiences to mind, resurfacing some of the emotions we had during those times. It’s pretty easy to ask yourself, “could I have handled that better; could I have done something different, less painful?” And, I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. I believe most any parent would admit they made mistakes along the way and wish they could do some things over.
Jim Valvano, the great coach at North Carolina State in the early eighties talked about “the gift my father gave me” in the video clip below. My dad gave this same gift to me and I have tried to give it to my girls.
But, despite the mistakes we made, our girls…well just read paragraph one again. The link below will take you to Tim McGraw’s song “My Little Girl”, and to my girls, I love you, “you’re gonna’ make it, my bags are packed for you” and you will always be “my little girl”.