Daddy Duty Excerpt I don’t like to imagine my five year old daughter married, or even in a relationship for that matter, but the reality is that dreadful day will one day come to pass. I imagine the day that she brings home the first boy from high school. I guess it won’t be so bad because in my heart of hearts I know this loser will never make the cut anyway. She will go through many more infatuations and heartbreaks before that day comes when I have to look at some guy and realize that he may be the man that has truly stolen my daughter’s heart. Actually, he may be the guy that marries my daughter. Wait, he may even be the father of my grandchildren! Since I know that day is inevitable, I like to imagine exactly how that day will be… I’m sitting at home and my little princess comes down the stairs and she looks more beautiful than ever. She is no longer a princess though. She is the queen of every beautiful vision that I have. Of course she has fully prepared me for this very moment, forewarning me to be nice because she thinks this guy is really “the one”. So I’m ready. I planned out exactly what our conversations will be, exactly where we’ll have these conversations, and exactly what my responses will be to all of his answers. Actually, I’m starting to think that this isn’t going to be so bad after all. All of a sudden I hear loud music in my neighbor’s driveway, tires come to a screeching halt, and somebody keeps blowing their horn. I’m thinking to myself “I have got to move out of this neighborhood. The nerve of some thug acting ghetto when I’m about to meet my future son in law.” So I go outside to confront the guy. Wait! He’s in my driveway. He jumps out of the car and yells “Hey is you Nailah’s pops? Where Nailah at?” Strike number one: he clearly doesn’t communicate well but what’s worse is he doesn’t look anything like I imagined. His pants are hanging to his knees, his underwear are showing, and he is covered in tattoos from his ankles to his chin. I’ve never been one to care about material things but his old school Chevy sits five feet above ground with 32 inch rims and is painted candy red with sparkles on it. Hold on! I know he did not just honk for my queen to come outside to him, did he? I begin to think that this has got to be one of her friends, or better yet, maybe he’s a stalker and I can just shoot him for trespassing. But just as I turn to go get my gun, my daughter runs out of the house and jumps into his arms and tells him how much she missed him and loves him. Are you telling me she approves of this guy? Where did I go wrong? Did he drug her or something? This is definitely not a dream. It’s some awful nightmare. Somebody wake me up!
My dream of this day was much different. I envisioned a handsome, clean cut young guy knocking and then I would answer the door. He is standing there in a suit and tie holding a bottle of wine that he brought as a thank you to me for having him over. He gives me a firm handshake and introduces himself with confidence. I welcome him in and he compliments my home and my wife and then addresses my daughter. He looks at her in pure amazement and I can see the love and appreciation he has for her in his eyes. “Nailah, you are absolutely gorgeous!” he says to her as he grabs her hand and walks with her to sit on the couch. We engage in a very interesting conversation and he is well versed in many subjects. After dinner we are having a beer and talking about his intentions for my daughter and he insists that he has to go to the car and get me something. Of course I look out the window to see what he’s driving and guess what…no 32 inch rims with candy paint! When he comes back inside he hands me a proposal detailing his one, three, and five year plan for supporting my daughter spiritually, financially, and professionally. Now this guy is a keeper! He treats my daughter with respect, leads her spiritually, has a detailed financial plan, and cherishes everything about Nailah. Now your dream for your daughter may be slightly different but one thing all good dads have in common is that we desire for our little princesses to have the very best. None of us want that nightmare to eventually become a reality. However, we all have heard of this horrific story becoming real for our friends, loved ones, or maybe we were even the victim ourselves. How does this happen? Where is the disconnect? More importantly, what would make my little girl think that this nightmare is okay? Although we want to keep our princesses pure and innocent, we must focus on preparing them for their next step right now. I can’t start saving for her college in her senior year of high school and expect it to be an easy task. Similarly, if I want to pass the torch of leadership to an admirable male someday, I must begin to prepare immediately. The longer I wait does not make my task unachievable, however, it does make my task a little more difficult and may require some drastic changes. As I focus on my preparation, I have come to understand that the result of my nightmare and my dream were caused by the exact same person. The boyfriend in the story was chosen by my daughter so it really has nothing to do with him. My daughter is only choosing what she thinks is right so she is not to blame either. Her choices are a clear reflection of what she has or has not been exposed to. I would love to blame the wife in the story because there are only two people left and quite honestly, it couldn’t have been me, right? But here’s the reality. A woman is great in everything that God designed her to be but on her very best day, she will never be a man. So how can I expect her to innately know how to teach our daughter to choose a good man? I can’t. So frankly, whether my story becomes a nightmare or a dream is highly dependent on me as a man and what role I choose to play in my daughter’s life.
The solution to this problem, that sorely plagues our American culture, stems from an understanding of two things: 1. Who I am as an example for my daughter and 2. How my daughter thinks when searching for her significant other. So the first question then becomes a rhetorical one: Am I the man in the nightmare or the dream? I like to think that the relationship between a dad and his daughter is one of the most special relationships you can experience. But how do we achieve the epitome of satisfaction in this relationship? How can we be proactive and start leading our daughters at an early age? How do we become the chief male role model in a young girlâ€™s life? How do we restore broken relationships with our daughters? How do I ensure that I am a well rounded dad in all areas of influence? What do I do if I have more than one daughter? How do I deal with the unique situation that my daughter and I are in? How do I let go of my role and pass it on to the next man that my daughter chooses? How do I keep my nightmare out of my driveway? HOW DO I MAKE THE DREAMS THAT I HAVE FOR MY DAUGHTER A REALITY? The answers to these age old questions can be found on the pages of this book. The objective of this read is to expose men to alternative ways of leading your daughter in life and teaching your princess what to look for in men. Many times we may do the right thing as men but we fail in teaching that concept to our daughters so it is just as though they never even saw it. This book will help you establish a legacy that will outlive your great grandchildren. Use this book as a tool to set the foundation of how men will treat your daughter for the rest of her life. As a reference, this book will give you innovative ideas on special outings with your princess and a refresher course on proper etiquette that your daughter will demand from men throughout her life. My desire is that this book will impact you as much as it impacts me and helps to develop an unbreakable bond between you and the apple of your eye.