I failed my daughter.
It’s a painful admission to make; but the reality is I did. I don’t make this admission as a woe is me statement, or to abuse myself. More so, it’s an acknowledgment that, based on God’s design for families, and the well-being of children, the ball got dropped. Arguments will always be made that it takes two people to make a relationship work, but one to end it. Well, it takes two to do that also, despite what “they” say. My daughter’s mother and I set our child up to not get what vowed, and that is a stable home life. This fact makes me wonder, will my daughter feel some of the same things I did growing up.
Will there be days where she wants to kiss and hug me, but I won’t be there? Yes. Will there be items she needs, and I’ll have to try to scramble to get them? Yes. Will I wish to have my daughter with me all the time? I do. But because of the choices her mother and I made, her life stands a good chance of continuing as it is now. Perhaps, if I had a son, I might think differently, but judging from my life I doubt it. She is my first-born, my original baby girl, and I let her down, even if she doesn’t know it.
Perhaps I am projecting feelings I had or have, on my daughter’s present and future situation. Even so, there is a definite basis for what she may feel growing up. As her dad, it’s my duty to protect her from hurts and pains in this life, even though I know that she has to experience them. Knowing that a few of those hurts are caused by me, well, that makes it even worse. No doubt the deepest one would be if she ever asked me, “daddy, why weren’t my mommy and me ever good enough”? What do I say that will be satisfactory to her? I wonder how she will feel when she has siblings, born from my wife and I? Will she consider them full siblings and not half? Will she long to be around them all the time? As they grow up, will there be a connection that they’ve fostered by my guiding hand, and not one I’ve forced on them? All these questions are before me when I think about the emotional baggage my daughter may face.
These questions stem from my own actions. We adults are so casual about who we lay with; not really thinking about how a child will change things. It definitely brings home why God made it so that children are to he born AFTER marriage. The issues that arise when a child is born before marriage can and usually do cause emotional upheaval for the prospective parents. I am thankful though that at this juncture, my daughter doesn’t seem to have any unusual hang-ups. Her mother and I try to keep her happy, and so far, we’re doing an okay job. I’m not around as much as I want, or feel I need to be. I do what I can though.
As she gets older, no doubt I’ll overcompensate at times, but that goes with the territory. So long as my baby girl knows I’m her daddy, I love her with all my heart, and will do all in my God-given power to be the man in her life she needs me to be, I must trust God that she will be okay. Since He chose me to be father, He must know and believe I’ll be a good one to her.