A young daughter says to her dad, "You are the best dad ever... not that I know any other dads."
Webcomic by Joe Chiappetta 2010, drawn in Google Docs on HP Laptop computer running Microsoft Windows XP.
Double Trouble for Daughters of Silly Daddy
Essay by Joe Chiappetta, 2010
For the first time ever, both my daughters had significant troubles in the same night. I see more clearly now that when one member of the family suffers, often the whole family is affected in some way.
How I respond as the head of the household in those troubled times can often make the difference between family victory or family disfunction. Therein lies the true test of being a dad--what do I do when the challenges come?
This particular challenge started in an unassuming manner. My youngest daughter, almost five years old, woke up twice with growing pains in her mini-sized foot. The sure-fire cure for this is always me rubbing her foot. I usually don't mind, since she is like a little teddy bear. The challenge however, is that she needed this help at 1 AM as well as 4 AM. But both times, I delivered a world class kiddie foot massage that put her back to sleep. Crisis averted.
Then at 5 AM I got a phone call from my oldest daughter, age nineteen. Her car broke down on the way to work and it is a new job, it is pitch black, she is stranded on a busy street so what should she do?
In five minutes I am dressed and on my way to help. We try to jump her old car but with no success. I push the car off the main road and call her a tow truck. Then I pray with her and drive her to work, all before I myself have to report to my own office downtown.
Quite unsettled by the whole experience, my daughter said that this couldn't have happened at a worse time. She has no money to pay for such car repairs. I told her I would cover it and we can work out the details later. Daddy saves the day again--twice before sunrise.
Thereafter, a feeling of satisfaction came over me, and later the byproducts of fatherhood warmed my soul as they often do. A big hug from my youngest daughter when I came home from work, and a heart-felt "thank you" phone call from my oldest daughter were nice bonuses.
As the day grew longer and my sleep-deprived strength faded in ever increasing measures, I pondered; my children will have troubles--they are going to have times of suffering and I cannot prevent that. It is part of life and I must be resolved to trust God with my kids--doing what I can to guide and point them in the way they should go.
Moreover, no matter what I do, I have to accept the fact that my girls will have their share of troubles in this life wherein some are preventable and some are not. Through these experiences I have come to understand what this means to me as a father. It is a great test of where my heart is at. Despite the sleepless night, I can honestly say that I am completely glad to have come to their rescue. It is a priviledge. Isn't that what fathers should be known for? We are the rescuers.