“Daddy!”, Lily screamed, like she has for the past few nights.
Maybe it was a nightmare. Maybe she was cold. It’s impossible to know, really. Her mommy had tried to comfort her, but nothing she said or did helped. The screaming just got louder and more insistent, until she finally screamed a single word in repetition.
I calmly walked up the stairs, confident that I could soothe her. As I opened the door to her room, I saw her standing in her crib. She was distraught, but her screaming had subsided to steady sob at the sight of me. I stepped in and picked her up. She wrapped her arms around me and immediately calmed down.
And that’s when it hit me. He’d better be a hell of a guy.
What guy? That guy. The one she marries. The one who takes over my job.
You see, for the next couple decades, it’s my job to protect her. It’s my job to keep her safe, both in her perception and in reality.
I didn’t set out to make her “daddy’s little girl”. It just happened. I don’t know if she was programmed to wrap me around her little fingers, or if it’s her will. I just know she is, and that she’s special to me.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t love my boys less. The feeling is just…different. We both know it.
And so, as I gently laid her back down in her crib and covered her with her blanket, it occurred to me that this fellow damn well better be special. He who wants the job of protecting my precious little girl better be a hell of a guy.
He has to be the best. Nothing less will do.