Commentary: My Only Job In Life…

I have often said that there is #truth in good comedy. The really special comedians have the ability to make us laugh at our own imperfections.  Think about George Carlin, Bill Cosby, and Richard Pryor. What about Eddie Murphy and Jerry Seinfeld? More recently we have seen the genius of Gabriel Iglesias, Sarah Silverman, Trevor Noah, and Dave Chapelle. There is another comedian who has spoken a truth that I live by. This truth I think all men should recognize as real and burn it into that place where it will never be forgotten. This profundity comes from the brilliant Chris Rock. Read what Chris has to say in his classic stand-up performance, Never Scared:

Sometimes I am walking with my daughter, I’m talking to my daughter, I’m looking at her, I’m pushing her in the stroller. And sometimes I pick her up and I just stare at her and I realize my only job in life is to keep her off the pole.

Keep my baby off the pole!

I mean, they don’t grade fathers. But if your daughter is a stripper, you  f*&$#@ up.

When I first heard this, it stuck with me like stink on an elephant’s ass. My daughter was a toddler at the time and I remember thinking to myself, Man, he’s right! This is why I exist as a father. My relationship with my baby girl will certainly determine how she thinks of men, her self-esteem, and self-image.  The amount of time and attention that I give to her could potentially lead her to believe that she needs to seek that attention elsewhere from someone who does not come close to loving her the way that I do. That simply WILL NOT DO.

I made up my mind there and then that my baby girl would always know how special she is to me. I do not withhold affection from her, so there will not be a need  for her to seek it elsewhere. I tell her I love her every day several times a day and show her that love as well. I spoil her to a point, because I do not want her to think that everything comes easy in life. I insist that she stands up for herself. Defend herself, if necessary.  Over the years, I’ve tried to help her understand how she deserves to be treated in a relationship. When she misbehaves, I correct her. When she is successful, I encourage her. She knows that she is as good as any boy and better than most in my eyes. My daughter is smart, funny, talented, and confident. She wants to be a film-maker and she knows that by her own hard work, she can be.

Moms play a special and unique role in the development of little girls, but do not underestimate your impact, dads. You are an invaluable and irreplaceable chunk of your daughters life. Make sure you are the man she needs you to be.

The biggest compliment that I hope to hear one day is that my baby girl wants to marry a man just like daddy.


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