Happy Birthday, Dear Child

By: Eric Scott

I woke up excited today. My little girl turns 35. That’s right; she’s already 35 years old. And she’s still my “little girl”. She’s all grown up and lives far away in another state. I don’t have any idea what she does all day, when she comes home, or who her new friends are. But when she answers the phone and I sing Happy Birthday, she'll call me Daddy and a sacred bond will stir our minds and merge our hearts in an imperceptible hug that transcends time and space.

I know her like no other. I “created” her. I was responsible for her earliest exposures and life lessons. I imposed my values and taught her much of what has brought her to where she is; “on her own” in a challenging world. I know things about her that no one who meets her will ever know. I love her like only a father could love her.

I long for her to be happy and healthy. I still want to give her good things and make sure she’s safe and secure, even though she’s far away and “independent”. She knows I love her. She has seen that she can call anytime for my advice and counsel. She knows that I will be there if she needs something, or gets into trouble. I bet she even knows I like it when she “needs” me. I wonder if she can fathom the depth of my love and pride. I would die for her!

Your kids will always be “your kids.” Children, even with distance and the passage of time, tend to see their fathers as big and bold and strong. There will always be a special bond that looks past the trials and disappointments you share. That bond is strong and healthy because you can overlook, and even forget, the pain and suffering the most wayward child, or parent, brings into the relationship.

Every new day of life is like a “birth” day. As I bowed to pray for my daughter this morning, it was as though a phone was ringing in my head. “Hello Daddy,” I said. And a chorus rang out, “Happy Birthday, my child!” At once, I understood.

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