19 years old, but still Daddy’s Girl…

father-daugher 2It started about a week ago.  Rachel asked me to take her into the city.  She was nervous.  She doesn’t know her way around.  She needed to get her paperwork completed and her picture taken for her summer job.  She asked me again, 2 days later.  And then again. (Why does she keep asking me, when I’ve told her that I would do it? She doesn’t think Dad will show.  That’s it.  All those other times.  One excuse or another usually all tied to work. Couldn’t make it.  Something has come up.  I’m busy.  Mom will take you.)

Thursday night.  She asked again.  I glare at her.  She backs up.

Friday morning.  You can see she didn’t get much sleep.  She’s nervous.  She’s dressed.  OMG.  My girl is wearing a suit.  Nicely dressed.  Professional. My eyes well up.  I have to turn away.

We’re waiting for the train.  It’s early.

I see a glimmer out of the corner of my eye.  I glance over at her fingernail polish.  LIGHTENING blue.  The kind that would glow in a disco.  (She has a keen sense of my disapproval.  Years of my feedback. No, it’s criticism.  Corrective measures by a caring parent.  No, that’s revisionist history.  You are/were a relentless beast.  Showering her with so much of Daddy’s ‘love’…no double-pierced ears; reduce the amount of that eye shadow – you look like Scarecrow; I want you home by 11; is that a dress or a bikini?; those aren’t pants – that’s underwear you are wearing – do you see me wearing my underwear in public?) 

I didn’t have to say it.  “Dad, I’ll take the nail polish off before I start work on Monday.”  I smile.

We’re on the train now.  She’s fidgeting.  She’s playing with her hair.  I turn and stare.  She’s asks what the problem is now.  I tell her that I didn’t think her job was in modeling or lifeguarding.  Her hands drop to her lap.  (Poor thing.  I’ll have her walking in straight jacket by the time I’m done.)

We arrive.  I’m like a Mother Hen.  Here’s how you find your way out of the station.  Here’s how you find your train and your track.  The streets and avenues are on a grid.  Watch yourself when you cross the street – cabbies will mow you down.  Hold on to your bag.  Skip the heals – wear comfortable shoes walking to the office.  Walk with purpose.  Don’t look like this is your first time in Manhattan.  Don’t take stuff from or give stuff to strangers.    (If she wasn’t nervous before, I’m confident she’s a complete wreck now.)

We take care of her business.  We check out the buildings she’ll be working in.  You can see her confidence climb. I grab her hand and we walk back to the station and take the train home.

I get this email from her after we get home.  She’ll always be Daddy’s little girl.  Yes, she will.

From: Rachel Kanigan <rakanigan@xxxxxx.com>
To: Dad <davidkanigan@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, June 1, 2012 4:25 AM

Note to Readers – While photo above bears a striking resemblance (and that’s why I posted it), the picture is not of Rachel & me.  Image Credit to:  weheartit.com

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  1. Just took a ride on your “Years In Daddy-land”. Thanks David. Those two pics are priceless.

  2. Shelley Jo Rojas Saracin says:

    I’m 31…and I still am Daddy’s little girl. This is so sweet. The confidence you dads give us, your daughters, is something we will always carry with us. Thank God for Fathers.

  3. Marvelous post, David. Our children grow up WAY too quickly. Kudos to both of you!

  4. rakanigan says:

    love you dad!

  5. I followed my dad from the time I was little – I was his mini-me. That continued through all the dad-comments about how short my skirt was, how much eyeliner I had on, and a few other conversations which are too personal to share. We commuted to the city and back after I graduated college – and we had a blast. Daddys and daughers – there is no other love like it. I write this as a mom – and acknowledge that there is no other love like mom-love either. It’s just that you guys deserve equal time. The pictures of you and your daughter are evocative of all that’s important… fabulous. And good to know that you can be a pushover for somebody…:-)

    • Thanks for sharing Mimi. I agree – there is no other love like it. (And, what I’ve noticed from your comment that you are other readers believed that photo was of Rachel and me. It was not. Close similarity which is why it moved me and I posted it. I’ll need to move the Image credit up and clarity. Thank you as always for sharing your thoughts)

  6. Ah what a great Dad and Daughter experience!

  7. David my daughter is the same age and soon I expect we will take a similar trip. Thank you for the great post. It brings me back to when my daughter was young too. Life is grand. Thanks again for sharing with us.
    - Michael

  8. Very sweet. Touched me!

  9. This brought tears to my eyes

  10. great story.. vintage Kanigan story telling.. they do grow quickly..

  11. Yes – very sweet.
    I throw my girls a bone – I let them wear lightening blue nail polish – then continue to be a bag about everything else!

  12. Wonderful photos and very sweet post – our daughter is just 16 and I cherish her closeness to me and to my husband. So nice you have that, too.

  13. If she’s like most girls, rachel will measure every man in her life against you, Dave. I’ll bet she remembers that you were there when she needed you.

  14. Dave, You are a wonderful father.Stories like this, make me miss my dad very much. Cherish each moment.

  15. Good for Rachel! She’s got you under her thumb. There is nothing like a great relationship between a father and daugher. I am 48 years old and still daddy’s girl….AND very proud of it!

  16. Tears flowing for this one! Beautiful!

  17. I was a Daddy’s girl, and I miss the reprimands, knowing looks, and most of all the guidance. Thanks for sharing this, I felt like I was hearing my father’s voice again.

  18. lkanigan says:

    Didn’t like some of the things we were told by our parents growing up but as I got older and with kids I now understand. A great memory you & Rachel will have and she will grow from this experience.

  19. ~*~*~ I Adore ~*~*~

  20. wonderful story Dave

  21. woooooooooooooooooooooooooowww.That is so nice of you Sir!.=) God bless to Rachelle in her job.=D

  22. I really love photos that are natural and not staged, those of the joyful baby are awesome.

  23. That’s so, so, so lovely. I wish I’d had a daddy like you, which is a silly thing to say, as I think we’re possibly about the same age ;-) But you know what I mean. It makes a girl feel so much more confident as they embark on adult life, if they’ve been loved and respected by their dad. Good on you, David. Rachel is one super lucky girl :-)

  24. Hi David :) I am so so pleased to nominate Lead.Learn.Live for the Versatile Blogger Award, your blog is such a pleasant treasure especially this post of you and your daughter which warmed my heart <3 <3 <3

    Here is the link for the image and for more info for accepting the award. <3 http://inspiredthoughtinspiredaction.com/2012/06/06/inspired-thought-inspired-actions-versatile-blogger-award-nominees/

  25. When I read the subject line of the article I wanted to read it because I love my DAD more than anything, when I saw the picture of the article I smiled and when I read your article I felt happy. You made my day, Man ! I want to hang these photos on my bedroom wall. They are Priceless! David you’re a wonderful Dad =) Stay Blessed !

  26. Wonderful David.

  27. This made my eyes well with tears. :-)

  28. Awesome post. Thanks for bringing tears to mine and my husband’s eyes. Even though our daughter is only 9, we both could totally see this happening in her life tomorrow! Time will fly so we are trying to cherish every minute. Thanks for the reminder.

  29. Absolutely love this David. And if the photos even vaguely resemble you two then you’re both lovelier than you know! More tears. Grateful ones :) Thanks.

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