When Your Daughter Calls You Her Protector

I rode pirates of the Caribbean with Norah yesterday. She’s 8 and she asked to sit next to me. She gripped my arm tightly most of the ride. Each time the boat took a dip down hill, she buried her face into my side,

When we got on the boat, she said, “Daddy will protect me” with 100% conviction. And naturally, I agreed. Not that she hadn’t been on Pirates before, she had. But for some reason she was extra snugglie with me.

There is something about having your daughter next to you, seeking your protection, that makes a father feel pretty needed. I felt a warmth in my heart with Norah yesterday. I felt that she trusted me to protect her. I felt that she needed me in her life, as much as I needed her.

And I will admit, part of me wondered how much longer she will feel this way about me. I wondered when she would decide she was too cool to need her fathers protection.

It was about then that the ride was over, and we were pulling into the main dock to get off. Norah looked up at me with a gap-toothed smile and said, “You will always be my best daddy. You will always keep me safe.”

It was one of those silly things that kids say that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, sure. But there was a sincerity in her eyes that made me know in my heart that the relationship we had was something truly special, and that although it will probably change, I will always be there for her. And she knows that, even now, at the tender age of 8.

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