Girl Dad Beyond A Hashtag

When I was told that I would be having a child, I literally felt a shift in my life. Regardless of the circumstance I know that things were about to change forever. I had spent that previous summer having dreams of walking with a child. It looked a lot like the artwork in Styles P “A Gangster and A Gentlemen” album. A man and his son walking together in matching Timbs and coats.

When I woke up, it was noting more than a dream. I didn’t think “Yes! I want to have a boy!” Truth is I didn’t care. When I was faced with the reality of actually having a child, the sex of the baby didn’t matter to me at all. I was prepared to name the child after me no matter what.

A boy would mean Cameron II
A girl would mean Camryn Denise aka Cammy D!

I’ve just never been a “I must have a son to carry my name” guy. It would be cool no doubt, but it would not be a let down if I never have a son. I was raised by 2 women. My biological grandfather died when my mom was 12-13. My relationship with my father isn’t ideal and maybe those factor in to why I am not sold on having one over the other.

I have girl. I have a daughter. And although her name isn’t “Cammy D” I love her for everything she’s made me. A child will change your outlook on life, but a baby girl will heighten your sensitivity and awareness to a level that you won’t even be able to process in the first year.

If the old adage is true, I may end up with all girls, ha! I’d love every single second of it. Because whether it’s FaceTime, at a restaurant, her basketball game or watching her sing at her plays, there’s nothing I love more than watching the little girl I helped create grow. I don’t get nearly enough time, but I don’t let that stop me from doing what I can when I can.

Kobe and Gigi Bryant’s passing along with the other 7 people on that helicopter has been tough on the world. I watched a video of Kobe taking a picture of Gigi and Luka at a game. Kobe with his camera making sure the shot was just right, making sure people were out of the way. That moment made me burst into tears! His words on having four girls and how he now has to be apart of the process of making sure the world has greater opportunities for them shot me in the heart! Those moments and statements are really what being a “Girl Dad” means to me. It’s not just a hashtag to post your most recent or best picture. It’s how you see the world and the women in it. I just hope the “Girl Dad Energy” remains constant.

I didn’t post under the hashtag. I don’t want to disrespect anyone who has, but if your daughter hasn’t changed even your attitude towards women, then I would encourage you to truly seek the layers that come with being a true “Girl Dad”.

For me, being a girl Dad, is tapping into the nurturing side of yourself and showing the balance of strength and sensitivity needed to cultivate that in a future woman. It’s admiring women and seeing your daughter becoming a great woman like the great women you encounter daily. You also help. You try your hardest regardless of your situation to make sure your daughter feels love, security and that she can do anything. Obviously that will come from a mother, but to have it instilled and cultivated by a father is a whole different ballgame. As fathers, we must be emotionally available to our children, but especially our daughters. We have to show them the parts of them that are in us, that can’t be seen but can always be felt. That’s what being a Girl Dad” is to me.

My heart is crushed that Kobe died with the daughter many felt is most like him in his arms. It’s tearing me apart more because when I turn 41, my daughter will be 12. My daughter looks and acts so much like me it’s scary! I see how much living, growing and loving we have to do and know that they truly were just getting started just like us. That hurts. I can’t put the correct words I’m feeling together with processing that unfortunate reality.

Let’s love our daughters and all women more. Let’s go out of our way to listen, protect and defend them. Let’s make life more comfortable. Let’s keep young girls and women more secure. Because that is the true nature and spirit of being a Girl Dad.

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