Southern Comeback

Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years.

Sorry. I’ve always wanted to say that. It has been a long time since I did one of these. In fact, it’s been almost 8 months. To those of you who enjoy my ramblings, I apologize. To the rest of you, sorry to interrupt again.

I’m not sure what causes these sudden outbursts from my brain. Sometimes it’s a news story or a song or something that happens to me. Today, I just felt like I needed to write. I have no agenda, at least not one that I’m currently aware of, though I’m sure one will become apparent as my subconscious takes the wheel.

My daughter’s first birthday is quickly approaching, and that frightens me a little. A year with my little girl has almost passed, and I didn’t even feel it. It seems like a week or two ago that we brought her home from the hospital. Almost overnight, she has transformed from a cute little lump into this bright-eyed, laughing, talking, trying-to-walk little girl. If the rest of her life moves this rapidly, I’m in trouble.

My wife (Hi, Channing!) says that I’m a good dad. I guess I should take her word for it. I am by no means a baby expert, but I feel that I am as close to an expert as anyone can be on my baby. I don’t always know exactly what to do when she randomly starts crying, but 95% of the time, she and I have fun. I’m pretty sure that the “Hot Dog Song” from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will forever be stuck in my head.

Madelyn, my daughter, is amazing. She’s such a happy little girl. She has so many smiles and expressions. Her little giggle just lifts my spirits every time I hear it. For about 4 months, all she would say was “da da da da,” but she has since picked up “ma ma” and “no.” She has several other noises that are, if I may say, adorable, but I love when she says “da da.”

I’m fairly certain that she doesn’t know that I am “da da,” but she will learn. I see other parents with their kids, and I just can’t wait until I can sing songs, play in the park, and go to the zoo with my little girl. At the same time, I don’t want time to pass too quickly. I hear other parents say that I’ll blink and Madelyn will be a teenager. I can’t think of that. I work with teenagers. I don’t want my little angel to turn into one of them yet.

I have so many things to teach her. I have to teach her that she doesn’t have to like music just because it’s on a Top 40 pop station. I have to teach her that Batman is the greatest superhero, not because he’s the strongest (he’s not even close) or the fastest (not by a long shot), but because he’s just a man who is brave enough to stand up to bullies who have the powers of mythological gods. I have to teach her to dance to her own rhythm and not follow every trend because most popular things in this world are awful.

Most importantly, I have to teach her that the only one who loves her more than her mother and I is God. I need to imprint that onto her brain so that she never forgets and will live her life in a way that will please the God who took a break from running the universe to create her with His mighty hands. I want her to genuinely marvel at the world that He made just for her and to make every moment a praise song to her Heavenly Father.

I want her to be better than me.

Isn’t that what children are supposed to do? Aren’t they supposed to take up where we leave off and improve? If not, that’s how I want my little girl to be. I want Madelyn, and any other children God blesses us with, to be my legacy. After I’m gone, I want people who knew me to be able to come up to her and tell her how proud of her I would be. She won’t be perfect, obviously, because she does come from my gene pool, but I want her to avoid my mistakes and improve on my successes. In order for this to happen, I need to be the father that she can respect. I need to be her parent and not just another friend. I do hope she likes me, but she needs to listen to me and learn from my experience. Lord knows, it’s not an easy thing to do. I know several kids whose parents just try to make them happy instead of making them good people. I don’t want my daughter to be like that.

I’ve written about the difference between happiness and contentment. Happiness is situational, but contentment is a lifestyle. Paul urged us to be content in all things and that doesn’t come by getting everything you want instantly. I, by no means, want to deprive my little girl, but I do want her to understand that just because you want something doesn’t mean you need it.

So, as I said, a theme would eventually surface in this rambling collection of ridiculousness. I want to end this with two requests:

God, help me to be the kind of father to Madelyn that you want me to be.

All y’all, encourage me to step up and be a good example to my Maddie B.

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.