My daughter is 5 and she loves musicals, princesses, Hello Kitty, butterflies, fairies, the color pink – in any shade thereof, One Direction music and Just Dance 2014 (in no particular order). And up until the day she was born… those were all things I would gladly have chosen a punch in the neck over.
But now… I love all those things and much more because of my 5 year old daughter.
I love that when we go to the grocery she wants to wear her pink princess dress with blue tights, purple boots and her leopard print headband.
I love that when she hears a song she likes she can almost immediately memorize it and sing the chorus over and over… and over and over and over and over again. And over… again.
I love that even in her girly-girliness… she can hang in toughness with her big brother and his buddies… not giving up no matter how rough their games of tag, obstacle course, or something that resembles tackle-hide-and-seek ever get.
I love that she constantly wants her hair to be purple, pink or lime green – and wants us to color it with Kool-Aid. (P.S. Don’t listen to the experts that it will wash out in a few weeks… once you do it you are basically committed until it grows out. And BTW… does anyone else find it disturbing that something we drink can stain your hair PERMANENTLY?)
I love that even in in her girly-girliness, she will chase frogs, catch fireflies, climb trees, sleep outside in a tent, and tell gross out jokes. (Some of my personal favorites of her “gross outs” involve all of the different combinations of poo, puke and boogers she can think of…)
I love that when I listen to my heavy metal music she will make rock hands and bang her head.
I love how she believes girrah (that’s how she says girl) power can change the world.
I love that her best friend was born in the same hospital 36 hours after she was… and that they tell everyone they are twins.
I love that without fail she always seems to need something immediately – the second she realizes I’m in the bathroom.
I love when she sneaks away with my iPhone and makes videos of herself singing and dancing or pretending to be a purple minion.
I love that she can sing Folsom Prison Blues and recognizes all the Johnny Cash songs I have sung to her at bedtime when she hears them on her iPod.
I love that she got her mom’s beauty, sweetness, generosity and caring spirit blended with my mischievousness and orneriness… maybe a little bit too much of those from me.
And most of all… I love how she is so loving and empathetic to the feelings of others.
Because of who she is, I am reminded everyday to be a better man… and to be a daddy who loves princesses, boy bands and butterflies… and I hope if you’re a daddy of a daughter, that you love those things too. And that more than anything, your little girl sees how much you love her for all she is.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. – Proverbs 127:3 (NLT)
Jason Rehmel is the Lead Pastor at Eastside Christian Church on the east side of Cincinnati. If you are someone who has had a terrible experience(s) at a church or churches – stop by some weekend and give it one more shot with Eastside. Whether you have felt judged, or dismissed, or unwanted – wherever it has been – Eastside is different.