“Fatherhood is not something for the perfect man, but rather what perfects the man.” – Frank Pittman
I underestimated the weight of this quote until two years ago when my daughter Anna came into the world. Before the beautiful afternoon of her birth, I didn’t know how much fathering daughters changes men. Anna has transformed my life in all aspects, and now I understand the purpose of life. Here’s what having a daughter does to you:
Live In the Moment
You can learn a lot from your daughter on how to practice mindfulness. Kids usually notice the small things on their path as they crawl or walk around. I realized that my daughter is never in a rush. Trying to make a timely appointment with her is not easy because she doesn’t understand things like, “We are in a rush” or “We are late.” At first, I thought Anna was difficult, but then it hit me that she knows that nothing earth-shattering will happen if she takes a minute to watch raindrops or a butterfly.
Stand for What’s Right
Lately, I don’t care if I’m standing alone, as long as I am standing on the right side. Life is full of choices, and children understand this best. That is why they will stop to greet everyone irrespective of their age, status, or race. Every time I remember Anna’s innocence, I feel obliged to do the right thing. I know that Anna may not be watching me at the time, but I want her to be proud of my actions when she’s old enough.
Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
Two weeks ago, Anna got into the pantry and poured all the flour in the containers. She was almost unrecognizable when I found her in the middle of the room with powder all over. When our eyes locked, she started laughing hysterically. At that moment, I realized one thing – life isn’t too serious. I warned her not to repeat that as I was cleaning her. Since then, I have been trying to prevent little mishaps from becoming major life stressors.
Appreciate Women More
I was privileged to join my wife in the labor ward, and the experience cannot be described in words. I realized that women are energetic beings that deserve a lot of respect. Fatherhood brought me closer to the greatest women in my life – my mother and my wife. Sometimes I look at Anna, and I imagine that she will grow up and probably have kids too, and that thought brings me to tears. I hope that men will respect Anna, and she doesn’t feel less of a person for any reason.
Anna has a way of holding me to my word. She listens to my pledges and trusts them, which makes me feel obliged to fulfill my side of the deal. Even if I forget what I promised, my daughter will revisit the agreement, and I will have to do it. The firm belief that Anna has in me makes me realize how much of a better person I have become.