I walk into the bedroom and it's quiet. He's sitting in the rocking chair next to her bed and she's asleep. But she's on the edge of the bed. As close as she can get to the chair. And her arm is outstretched with her hand on his knee. She has to touch him. She has to know he is there before she can drift off into sleep. And my heart swells, tears rush to my eyes as I marvel at the connection between father and daughter.
Most nights I can hear her telling him everything she can think to tell, just so that he has to stay with her and listen, just so that she can delay the inevitable bedtime. She 'reads' him a story, sings him song after song.Tells him stories about her dolls, her friends, her day, before she inevitably drifts off in mid sentence.
Some nights she cries. Calls for her daddy and he goes to her. Without hesitation. A real daddy's girl,
that one. And while he is there he often falls asleep and she wakes with him
still there. He tells me he opens his eyes to a big toothy smile and kisses. One on each cheek,
one on the forehead, before she takes his face in her hands and gives
him a sloppy kiss on the lips. Good morning happiness to find her daddy
still with her.
Is that not how it should be for us and our father? Should we not ache to know he is there before we are secure enough to drift into sleep? In fact should we not want to spend our last waking moment reaching out and touching him and wanting to get as close to him as we can? Should we not want to pour out our words to keep the connection with him? Tell him of our day, of our fears, our needs, our dreams... sing him songs, tell him stories, share ourselves with him. And when we fear, when we call out to him in distress, does he not come immediately? Come to console, to love?
And that is how we should awaken. With a song on our lips for our father. A kiss just for him. Joy at the realisation that he is there with us, having never left us.
My daughter teaches me lessons day after day. The learning never stops. And day after day I realise how strong that bond is. How beautiful the bond is. How deep the connection is with her hero.
The bond between a father and a daughter
The bond between our Father and us.