Feeling Right About Her Childhood (Stability, Bond, Quality Time)

Well, if I do get that book together with all my posts about my daughter, maybe this ought to be the final post of the book…

It was late evening, and I’d just picked her up. She was in a good mood. In fact, she seemed especially happy to see me.

Her – “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” she squealed as she got in the car.

Back home, I had her take a shower.

It seemed that she was going to use up half the water resources for the city it went on so long, but I thought, “She’s singing. Let her just unwind after a day of activity.”

She finally emerged into the kitchen where I was preparing some cucumber, carrots and turkey bits. She started dancing around…

Her – “I feel incredible with you!”

I smiled, handed over her snack and started working on her school lunch.

Her – “I feel right that I grew up with you.”

Her words took me by surprise. I turned to her and embraced her

Me – “Awww, honey, that means so much to me. And, I’m so happy that you look at your childhood that way.”

Her – “I love you.”

Me – “You can watch some TV before bed, if you like.”

Her – “Yay!”

She hopped on over to the great room and called out-

Her – “I feel really healthy with you, because you give me live foods, and that’s the key to a healthy life!”

I smiled again.

It’s funny because the other day I was beating myself up. I told myself, “Eric, here you have all these creative talents for writing, performing, and film-making and I don’t have anything significant to show for it. What have you done with the last ten years?”

But then I paused and told myself, “I’ve raised my daughter. I’ve put my heart and soul into that. That’s my achievement.”

Her – “I feel right that I grew up with you.”

What could be more of a confirmation than that?

And, as for my creative side, well, here’s to being a late bloomer. They say a bamboo shoot grows underground for years and years before it shoots out of the ground with astounding pace and reaching incredible heights.

Maybe I’m a bamboo shoot.

Who knows.

But at least my daughter thinks I did right by her. I don’t think I’ll top that in this lifetime.

Happy Daughter equals a Happy Daddy.


Priceless Feelings (Bond, Quality Time, Love and Happiness)

Today, after her school, I read with her, facilitated completing her homework, practiced soccer skills and passing, and swam in the pool with her.

It had occurred to me once or twice during our series of activities that maybe I ought to be putting more time into my business projects in the afternoon. But everything needed to be tended to. She had made commitments to read, to practice soccer, to do some computer homework and, well, we almost always swim for a bit. I wanted to get a good start to our week with these commitments, and we had a good time.

On the way back from the pool to Nonna and Papa’s house she suddenly had a little love burst, something that often happens when I’ve spent quality time with her. Nevertheless, it was still unexpected…

Her – “I feel comforted being with you…

Before I could say anything she added-

Her – “…and safe, happy, and excited!”

Such sweet words; priceless, really. Yes, I need to advance my business projects, but there is always 4am for that. Time together and her feeling like that, you just can’t put a price on it.

Happiness Business (Happiness, True success)

We had just practiced her soccer skills, and now it was time to head to the community pool where my parents live. We were on a quest to check off ‘Mastering Freestyle’ from her summer list of goals. She had prepared by watching another YouTube video on proper breathing technique. As we sauntered outside, I suddenly realized my time window was bit tight.

Me – “I only have about 30 minutes for this because I need to get to a meeting.”

Her – “Can I come?”

Me – “Well, it’s sort of a creative, business meeting.”

Her – “Awww… I started my own business.”

Me – “You have? What is your business about?”

Her – “Happiness.”

Me – “That’s interesting. You have a Happiness business?”

She sort of muttered back in a way as if to say that her thoughts probably didn’t make sense. I thought they did and pressed on for details.

Me – “So, your business offers Happiness?”

She nodded yes.

Me – “And how does your business profit from offering Happiness? You get Happiness?”

It was a leading question, but I figured it was okay as I knew where her thinking was going.

Her – “Yep. If you give Happiness then Happiness comes back to you.”

Me – “You know, I think everyone is in the Happiness business but we just forget it. I think your business is great and you should run it and grow it all of your life.”

She nodded in agreement and skipped off to open the screen door to the pool. I trailed behind contemplating the profundity of what she had so casually stated. For her, it wasn’t some wise utterance. It was just, well, how life is. Of course the business of life is Happiness.

They don’t teach you about this in school. It probably should have been lesson number one. That way we wouldn’t forget it as we get older.

The wisdom of a child.

We’re In It Together (Family, Helping, Humor)

This morning, I insisted that my daughter help with Hurricane Irma house clean up as I believe that, in a family, everyone pitches in. Nobody is sitting in the A/C on a tablet. She helped a good bit then disappeared. When my Mom arrived at our house she was laughing about a message my girl had sent her. When I heard what it was, I laughed and told her she gets credit for creative writing but then insisted she do some more house cleaning.

Snuggle Addiction (Bonding, Quality Time)

It’s safe to say that my daughter has a nightly Daddy snuggle addiction. Ending her day being snuggled by me is like breathing.

I understand as my Mom did the same with me growing up. I would whistle until she showed up in my room. Guess it’s in the genes.

Most days, I love snuggling her, especially as she is getting older and I know these days will pass. It’s my time to give her tickles, whisper sweet, affirming things, receive her little kisses, review highlights of her day, help her to express appreciation, and to see her marinating in contentment as she drifts off into the night. It’s sacred child and parent bonding time.

Admittedly, there are some days where I’m not keen on it. It’s usually after I’ve invested much of my day with her. By the time I have her to bed, I’m itching to get to my creative projects. But, still, her longing for snuggles nearly always wins out.

The other day, I asked her about it –

Me – “Why do you love snuggles so much?”

Her – “I don’t know.”

Me – “Well, what does it mean to you?”

Her – “Feeling comforted…”

Me – “What else?”

Her – “Feeling special.”

Me – “What else?”

Her – “Feeling loved.”

I really couldn’t think of anything to add to her statement or to inquire more about. She had summed it up and, in the process, reminded me why I do it. After all, what greater impact can I have on her than to impress upon her those feelings deep into her heart and mind – that she is secure, important and treasured.

By my calculations, if I go with a conservative 10 minute average nightly snuggle time multiplied by 300 days a year multiplied by 9.5 years, I’ve snuggled her 28,500 minutes or about 20 total days of her life invested in snuggles. And, that doesn’t count the countless times I fell asleep by her side from exhaustion.

Life passes us by in little chunks of time invested and wasted. A life well lived is one where at least 80% of our time is invested in what is most important to us.

Her words and her happy spirit tell me it’s been a wonderful investment. So, onward with the Daddy snuggle addiction until she naturally grows out of it…

Just Testing (Independent thinking, Safety, Personal Power)

It’s been raining incessantly for days, making it a wonderland of puddles in our yard.

Her – “Daddy, can we go jump in puddles?”

Me – “Um…”

I had just settled in to work on a creative project. But she’s only going to be nine once…

Me – “Okay.”

Once outside, we could hear the waves crashing just beyond where we live. Minutes later, we were at the nearby beach. Only thing is, nobody was in the water.

Her – “Maybe it’s not safe. Nobody is swimming.”

I’m not a big fan of this beach to begin with for kids as it has a sharp drop-off. With the waves crashing, it might be hard for her to find her footing after being knocked over.

Still, I walked towards the shore.

Her – “Daddy, I’m not going in.”

I was happy with her decision; that she had assessed the situation and deemed it a senseless risk. It occurred to me, though, that it was a good opportunity to test her.

Me – “I’m going in!”

I took my shirt off and edged closer.

Me – “You coming? Come on!”

She stood firmly.

I turned back toward her and gave her a high five.

Me – “Good for you. I wanted to see if you would stick with your decision.”

As I walked past her, I saw a smile of pride flash across her face.

Me – “Don’t let anybody talk you into something that, in your gut, you don’t think is safe for you. If you can say no to your Dad, then you can say no to anyone, right?”

Her – “Yes.”

With that, we headed home, had breakfast and then went to the other beach with a very gradual decline. A friend of hers joined us, and we had a blast.