Last night we had Mr. Man's parents over for dinner. They spend most of the winter months away and it has become tradition to have them over for dinner on their first night back. It is always good to see them home, safe and sound. The cheerleader gets really, really excited to have them back home. As families go, we are a close knit group with his parents. They are still the cutest couple, high school sweethearts, and still so totally in love. They raised two sons with the same amount of love. Everyday when I witness the love and compassion between Mr. Man and the cheerleader, I am reminded of how well he was brought up and mentally, I thank his parents a million times over.
Having the honor of raising a daughter is such a gift. It is also a challenge and often times you walk a fine line of the ever changing moodiness of a daughter. One minute, she is that baby and toddler of sweetness and light and in the blink of an eye, she is a teen full of sweetness, light and a bit of storminess added. Mr. Man is great at navigating the sunny days as well as the stormy days. He never loses his patience with her and always teaches and encourages with love. When I watch the two of them, I sometimes get a bit teary. It makes me so happy and fills my heart with such love to know that she is indeed being raised as a daughter by a dad who loves and cares so deeply.
I have noticed that in the past year or so, their relationship has shifted a bit. She used to seem to gravitate towards me, when she was younger, because I was the one who was always here and provided her needs and wants at all times. Now that she is independent, she doesn't need quite the amount of care from me but she now turns to Mr. Man for her questions and needs. They are so much alike in personality. Both strong and hard driven. Both very Type A. She listens to him when he gives advice. You can tell that she respects him as a dad and as a person. I can tell that she is learning from him even though sometimes she seems like she is in La La Land. He tries to father her using examples from his youth and his growing up. He tries to pass his knowledge of life, music, cars, work ethics and his general views on to her. Many times when I look at her or hear her say something, it dawns on me that she is definitely her father's daughter. She is a tough cookie, a fighter and never down for the count. He has instilled these qualities in both of us.
Being a daughter that grew up mostly without a father, I know how very important this time is for the cheerleader. Mr. Man is giving her such valuable lessons that will last a lifetime. He is building a strong confindence in her that nobody will ever be able to take away. I don't know if either of them really realizes that these building blocks are her foundation that she will build and base relationships on for the rest of her life.
She's a good girl that comes from a good guy who came from great parents. They gave him the gift of growing up with love and in turn, he is doing the same. In my ever changing moods, I know that the cheerleader will be fine in life because she has the heart of her dad. He will be her champion no matter how old she gets. The circle of love that his parents started will continue the pattern that they set a long time ago.