“Your father is falling apart.

It’s not a medical condition, rather a predicament of the heart.

You called to announce that you had met the man of your dreams.

Except your dad thought HE had that spot locked up for life.

I’m trying to console him; convince him that he is still your hero.

He vacillates back and forth from not wanting to know a thing about this dream guy not even his name to thinking about contacting the F.B.I. for a background check.

I mentioned inviting both of you over for Sunday brunch and he told me he has a golf outing with his buddies.

He doesn’t own golf clubs!

Let’s give him time to digest the enormity of this injustice.

He still thinks of you as his little girl. He always will.

In his mind you’re still his baby.

This man you call Dad is the same one who has called you “Princess” for 19 years.

He’s the same man who climbed to the top of the little blue slide hundreds of times to rescue you and the same man who caught you at the bottom hundreds more times when you conquered your fear.

We should have invested in Luden’s cough drops stock while you were growing up.

Your Dad’s voice stayed hoarse for entire spring seasons while he proudly cheered from the bleachers. He snuck out of work so many times to see you I could never keep track. Your name echoed off the scoreboard after a goal and let’s not mention that championship game when you lost the ball and your opponent scored. Who cried harder after carrying you off the field?

Happen to know anyone who had their dad more tightly wrapped around their finger?

I don’t think the word “No” existed in your dad’s vocabulary when it came to your childhood whims.

You cornered the market on knowing how to get your way and he allowed it and he loved every minute of it.

I know without a doubt that If you had wanted to ride a unicorn he would have found a way to dress up a horse and spray paint him rainbow and attach a horn to his head!

I think one of the best days of his life was when he escorted you to the Father-Daughter Dance. If there had been a power outage his beaming could easily have lit the way. He talked for hours after you fell asleep. I knew every song the D.J. played and everything you two ate at the buffet table and how your corsage fell off when you took off your coat and how you stepped on Daddy’s toes and how he tied the bow on the back of your dress even though all your friends’ moms offered to do it for you.

Remember when we told him you got your period? I thought he would die from embarrassment yet he surprised us both by handling it with such enormous pride though we know he was squirming inside.

At your Sweet 16 party I got a glimpse of how much he worshipped you and how he would most likely act on your wedding day. I am sure there will be many counseling sessions to prop him up before the occasion cause I cannot fathom how he will hand you off without fainting.

This poor man feels like he has lost his way. Part of his identity for your entire life has been to be your protector. He does not know how to relinquish this role nor trust another in his stead. He’s not prepared. He never will be.

Give him time. Give him a chance. He’ll come around.


Until then let him be continue to be your Hero and you be his little girl like nothing has changed.

Cause in the end if the books have it right, little girls grow up to marry men like their fathers so you and he will be doubly blessed.”

Lisa Leshaw

Lisa Leshaw has worked as a mental health professional for the past 31 years. She currently conducts Parenting Skills Workshops, Group Counseling for Blended Families and Empowerment Circles for Women. As a consultant, Lisa travels throughout teaching Communication and Listening Skills, Behavioral Management Techniques and Motivational Strategies. To de-stress she performs in children's theatre and plays piano whenever requested. She is hoping to either write the next memorable musical composition or Great American Novel!