It was not enough for my daughters to reach out with such love. I had to reach back and reciprocate it. In so doing, I learned to love them and others for who they are and, sometimes, despite how they are. I learned to look beyond others' faults and see their need for someone, including me, to always help bring out the best in them. I learned to respect those who do little or nothing to earn respect. I learned that true love is the motivation and means by which I can make the most of whatever moments I share with others. I learned that to love is to choose hope instead of hate; forgiveness instead of bitterness; selflessness instead of selfishness; kindness instead of cruelty; strength of character instead of weakness of mind. I learned that I couldn’t be much of anything unless love is everything to me.
It is not because they are cute and cuddly that my daughters are daddy's girls. It is because they are bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Consequently, I would not love them any less even if they were the most stubborn and obstinate children. However, they are as good to and for me as anyone in my life. I just had to humble myself, and then parent. When I relinquished the role of the know-it-all-and-have-it-all dad, I became receptive to their incomparably good influence as children with hearts made of heaven's gold. I learned that it is truly a blessing to have children because they are treasures in earthen vessels, and they, too, can bless and enrich my life.