Sunday, June 17, 2012

Like the song says, they will always be daddy’s little girls

Some songs, like some romances, are gone with the dawn of the day. Other melodies linger on forever just like the special women we associate them with.

The song “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” introduced by the late Maurice Chevalier in the motion picture “Gigi,” is one such. The truth is little girls do in fact “grow up in a most delightful way.” The challenge is to steer them successfully through their tweens and high-school dating. Sons are widely considered gifts from God, but don’t you think all babies are?

Men pray for a son so that a father and a younger version of himself can go out on the front lawn to throw a football around. So here’s to all of us who have sons, and beyond that to our sons’ sons. Now hold your breath, dear reader, for I have to attempt a transition in the paragraphs that follow.

Let’s not quibble about whether you are blessed more or less by the sex of your offspring. Early on my little Susan knew how to run deep then cut to snag a pass. She was my athletic delight right up to the very moment when Susan and her pal, Jean Scribner, decided that they were going to be “girls.”

So endeth the lesson of my football-on-the-lawn drills.

Short of walking to an electric chair the most challenging 50-yard stroll in the world is a father’s trip down the aisle to the wedding altar with his daughter on his arm. This trail of tears is made worse by the certain knowledge that there is not a man on the face of the earth good enough for Daddy’s Little Girl.

The single saving grace is the near certain knowledge that your departing daughter will remain closer to your side of the family than to his.

The bond between mother and daughter is unbreakable and through no effort of his own a father gains because of this. As for newly wedded sons, we send them off with a sense of loss combined with comedy and sympathy because he will be spending most of his time with them.

Little girls do grow up in most amazing ways for in time they become young mothers and present us with that wonder of wonders, grandchildren. Happily, all the while daughters retain an inner compass that keeps steering them back to check on Daddy.

Life is good.

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