Library event bonds fathers with daughters

Monday, September 25, 2017

“It’s a girl.”

Many men have been presented with that line in the hospital or possibly beforehand in a doctor’s office. The news of a healthy newborn is exciting to any man, but adept at activities such as hunting and fishing or watching football and baseball, he initially may be confronted with some anxiety: “A girl? Gulp. What do I do with a little girl?”

In short, a lot.

It starts with love and an open mind, but you learn to see the world, and growing up, from a different angle. A daughter will helpfully nudge you along as you pick up on what she likes. Many little girls love dolls, playing house, coloring, dressing up, smelling flowers, playing with makeup and dancing. At some point in time, you will be asked to join in the fun, and although you may have never imagined the day when you would do such things, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunities when they arise. You’ll find your little girl can quickly teach you to get over inhibitions and embrace all of life. You’ll be surprised at what you will do.

Seven dads participated in the recent Cape Girardeau Public Library’s Daddy-Daughter Hair Factory, where they helped their daughters at an almost impossible task — become more beautiful. The men learned about healthy hair, brushing techniques and styling for their little girls from Kuts Plus salon stylist and owner Jamie Clifton. Dads learned how to tie ponytails, half-ponytails, buns and braids. They did it in good nature.

“It was kind of comical watching the other dads try,” said Mark Barr, attending with his 9-year-old daughter Ariel, to Southeast Missourian reporter Ben Matthews. “It was a blast, and time with my little girl is always good.”

Barr and the others thought they might be able to slip under the radar at the Saturday afternoon event, but they ended up at the top of Page 3B of the Sunday, Sept. 17, edition of the Southeast Missourian. To their credit, they didn’t seem to mind. The photo of Ben Beswick, wearing an Atlanta Braves ball cap and a wide smile while brushing the hair of his blonde, 4-year-old Amelia, undoubtedly will find a family scrapbook.

It’s nice such events are around to set the stage for bonding experiences. The Cape Girardeau Public Library is to be commended for hosting events that address a wide spectrum of interests.

Many dads are in the same situation, looking for ways to spend good one-on-one time with their children. Father-daughter dances are becoming increasingly popular, so don’t be afraid to jump in there. It’s a good way to meet other dads as well as for children to make new friends. Anything that makes for positive memories is good in our book. A father also can take comfort in the fact half the athletes in high school and college are female, so some of the conventional opportunities to play catch, cheer or coach their little girls will be available along the way.

While this space has been devoted to fathers and daughters, it applies to all. Always find ways to spend quality time with your children. It’s one thing you will never regret.

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