Daniel's doing some telethon thing tonight involving talking to doctors/alumni and softening them up so they'll be more likely to give MCoW money, so I've been holding down the fort by myself for the last few hours. We have a list of shows we watch, and Wednesday's line-up includes NBC's Up All Night and ABC's Modern Family. To briefly sum it up, tonight's Up All Night was about the baby's birth, and at the end the dad decided he was going to be a stay-at-home dad instead of taking a few weeks off and then going back to work. It was just a small portion of the episode, but to see this (fictional) new family and the joy this man exuded touched my heart. I mean, I love Will Arnett and all, but there was something so much more to his character tonight. And maybe I'm over-analyzing way too much, but maybe I'm not. I hear new babies (even ones on TV) make people do/feel crazy things.
Fast forward several years to tonight's Modern Family, where the dad takes his oldest daughter to his alma mater to get her excited about college. Basically, she gets invited to a student mixer and the dad embarrasses her in front of all her new friends and he realizes that he can't let his not-so-little girl go. She's about to go off and be her own person and he can't stop it. And then he made a joke and they slid down a hill on cafeteria trays, but I saw my own dad in those few moments of panic. I left for college two weeks after I graduated from high school. I seriously dated one of the first RMs to ask me out and I brought him home three months later. I married that RM less than a year after that. I remember calling my dad and telling him that Daniel was coming to visit NC for a long weekend. It was hard for both of us. He felt like he was getting replaced, that he wasn't going to be as important to me now that I had someone else who could take care of and provide for me like he had (of course I didn't know that at the time). I didn't understand what the big deal was and I was upset that he wasn't happy for me (he really was, but it was still scary). That weekend was tense between Daniel and my dad. My mom explained everything to Daniel before he left (and while my dad wasn't around), and it all made sense, but sometimes I wish Daniel and my dad's first meeting would've been normal and not in his bishop's office! But that's a story for another time...
Watching those two shows tonight reminded me of a talk from this past General Conference, "Love Her Mother" from Elaine S. Dalton. Check it out below, it's definitely worth watching. Daniel and I aren't parents, and we may not be for some time, but we both thought it was great advice.
The most important thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother.
My dad helped me pick Daniel. I wanted my spouse to love me for me. A man who fights for me and realizes that I am precious. Someone who takes care of me and protects me. And so much more. My dad does all of these things. And not just for me, but for my mom and my other siblings too. Daniel loves me more than I know. He is such a good, kind, tender man, and I am so lucky to have someone so great sealed to me for eternity. He knows how to make me laugh. He holds me when I cry and usually doesn't know why I'm crying to begin with. He tucks me in and kisses me on the forehead. He cooks me dinner. He takes a cold shower after I've used all the hot water. He lets me choose what we listen to in the car. He lets me be silly or hormonal or weird. He never yells or says unkind things. He listens to me even when I sometimes tune him out. He likes to hold my hand. He lets me call him silly pet names. He lets me wear his robe. And above all, he loves his Heavenly Father and his Savior. He bears his testimony often, and he always encourages me to pray or read my scriptures, even when it's so much easier to turn out the light and go to sleep right away. And one day, when we have daughters of our own, he's going to be the most incredible father to them. Because he loves me. And I love him. And together, we'll be just fine.