Today is my daughter Karsen’s 6th birthday. I can’t believe she’s that old already. It’s true what people always tell you when you have a baby – enjoy it now because it goes by so fast.
I’ve also realized that Karsen’s really lucky to have me as a dad. I don’t say that arrogantly, because I’m not that great at the whole fatherhood thing. I’m still not sure what I’m doing, and I’m praying she won’t need much therapy when she grows up. I say she’s lucky because I’m there every morning when she wakes up and every night when she goes to bed and in the hours in between.
I see far too many boys and girls growing up without their daddies. Kids whose dads won’t even be around for birthdays because they’re in other states, in prison, or just completely nowhere to be found.
Last week, I wrote about the teenage girl who recently found out she was pregnant. She came to our girl’s Bible study on Tuesday, and it was an incredible time. She was brutally honest with the other girls about her pregnancy, about how she had messed up, how while she knew her baby would bring great joy that this wasn’t the right way to have a baby. About how they need to be careful, that it can happen to any of them. I think it was a wakeup call for many of the girls.
My thought as we set there talking, questioning, praying, and encouraging was, “I wish these girls had daddies at home.” While me just being in Karsen’s life won’t prevent her from making mistakes, I’ll be there to show her how a man is supposed to treat a woman. I’ll be there when she begins dating (preferrably at age 21!) to meet the boys, talk to them, threaten them, and pray for them. I’ll be there for both the joy and the heartache.
I can’t do that for all my “other” girls. I wish I could. But I can’t. Sure, I can grill them about their boyfriends and lecture them about why having a boyfriend at 13 is a bad idea. I do that a lot. Unique often says after one of my Boyfriends are Bad lectures, “Boy, I feel sorry for your daughters. No boys are gonna want to date them.”
I tell her, “Yes I know. That’s my plan.”
I wish I could be a real dad for all the Mission 2540 girls. But I can take comfort in the fact that I can introduce them to a heavenly daddy who will love them unconditionally and watch over them in a way no earthly daddy ever will. And though they’re gonna make mistakes along the way, nothing will seperate them from that love. Kind of like the way I feel about Karsen, but even bigger.
That’s what I can do. And I know that’s enough.