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Daddy, How Do I Look?

Daddy, how do I look?”

Eyes sparkling. Cheeks glowing. Is that a touch of makeup, a little something to accentuate the green of her eyes? Since when has she been wearing makeup? She twirls daintily on silver shoes, hair streaming, dress floating.

“Daddy, how do I look?”

She looks thirteen or twenty-three. She’s so big and so tiny, so old and so young, so wise and so innocent. When did she grow up? Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was born, this morning that she took her first steps, this afternoon that she learned her ABCs? How can she already be graduating to high school? What happened to all the years, all the days, all the moments? I thought they would go by so much slower. I wish I had known.

“Daddy, how do I look?”

I’d die for her. Does she know that? Does it even matter? I’d throw myself in front of a bus for her. I’d take a bullet. I’d do anything to keep her safe, to protect her from harm. I’m her daddy and it’s my duty. I’m her daddy and it’s my joy to love her fiercely, to love her gently, to love her without any contradiction between the two. I do. In that moment I do.

“Daddy, how do I look?”

This world is too dark for the likes of her. She’s too sweet, too tiny, too good, too pure. How will she make her way? How will she survive? How will she navigate the mess we’ve made here. God, protect her. God, keep her. She’s yours anyway, right? She’s mine for a day and yours for eternity. Bless her. Remember her. Don’t forget about her. Don’t neglect her. Please.

“Daddy, how do I look?”

A tear, a smile: “You look perfect.”


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