Whether a daughter is 73 or 3, they never quit being Daddy’s Little Girl. I am seeing this scene played out in front of my very own eyes.
I recently wrote “When Grown Children Come Home”. I got flack from the family on this one. They said I didn’t tell the whole truth. I told the truth as I saw it. They are finally speaking to me again, but maybe not for long. I decided to go for it again.
The Grown Children article caused even a stir among our friend’s children. Why is it? Is it because a family doesn’t want to change, they like it the way things are, or they don’t feel it is necessary? I don’t see any change in the near future in our family either.
I have observed Al’s relationship with our youngest single daughter who is over thirty and has come home. When she moved back to Pagosa, she reminded us she could take care of herself and has for twenty years, but she came home to be with family.
I think my sweet Al is the problem. Al caters to our daughter. They argue a lot about nothing. He teases her, she gets into a huff. They go garage sale shopping together, fishing, and they love their dogs. She programs her dad’s shows for him, explains to him how to answer his phone and is a very good daughter. She tells him what to do and he does it. It’s a great relationship in their minds and everyone is happy.
I am staying out of this match made in heaven; it would be like separating two mad dogs, they would turn and bite me for sure. But it’s too good not to write about, so I am pouring me a cup of coffee and watching this thing go on between a dad and a grown daughter. This is one of those family things. I remind him she is grown up and she should be doing things on her own. Al maintains she is alone and he needs to take care of her.
Our son-in-law says, “She doesn’t need a husband because she has Daddy.”
It’s true. Al keeps oil in her car and washes it, takes care of her puppy, makes sure she gets up early for work, even takes breakfast over to her house and visits with her before she goes off to work. The list goes on and on and on.
I’m with our son-in-law. I’m not hearing wedding bells any time soon either.
Al is the best ironer in town. So our daughter says, “Daddy, will you iron my blouse?”
“Yes honey,” he says.
Am I jealous? Absolutely not, he does and will do the same for me.
But this is one where I sit back and say, “Al, she doesn’t need you doting over her.”
And he responds, “But someone needs to, so I do it.”
A few weeks ago, our grownup daughter went out to a party. Al woke up at two in the morning, didn’t see her car, she wasn’t home. He started worrying about her, so he called her and told her she needed to come home.
Mind you, she’s been on her own for 20 years and has had the freedom to come and go as she likes. Al is being a concerned dad.
“This isn’t really happening?,” she says. “I can’t believe you called me at a party and told me to come home. I am old enough to know when to come home. Don’t ever do that again, you embarrassed me.”
Her friends got a good laugh out of it and thought Al was cute in doing so. She didn’t. They argued in a lighthearted way and continued doing what they do, being Daddy and Daddy’s Little Girl.
So when do you cut the ties? And can you cut the ties, let them grow up and still love them?
I say, “Yes!” But no one is listening, they like things the way they are.
Al says she is stubborn. She won’t do what he tells her to do. He knows what is best for her. I look at Al and think,’“And where does she get this from?”
Is anyone going to change? Why change and mess up a great thing.
We have three daughters and if you ask Al, each one is his favorite. In his old age, he won’t have to worry; his girls will take care of him. I’m not sure about me.
I’m praying, “Oh Lord, don’t let me fall into the hands of my children.”
I tease with my daughters, “You won’t put me in an old folk’s home, will you?”
Not teasing, my daughters answer, “If you’re not difficult Mother, or it IS Shady Farms.”
Final Brushstroke: It’s all in the family. A girl will always be her Daddy’s Little Girl. Some things will never change.
“If you would be loved, love and be lovable.” — Benjamin Franklin.
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