I am a ‘Daddy’s little girl,’ even though he is no longer on earth. Unlike so many in this generation, my brother and I were blessed with my father in the home. In fact, I grew up in a community at a time in which almost all of my peers (for 6 to 8 square blocks) had fathers in the home.
My father was very different from most. He had non-traditional professions (as a car salesperson, minister and musician). Most of the parents worked for city, state or federal agencies. My father dressed well and always had a quality car. He had a young spirit and a sense of humor. Where other fathers were feared, most of my friends looked forward to engaging with him. He certainly had a gift of gab, a love of life, art, music, civil rights and his ministry. He was a renaissance man. And his wife, my mother, was the only wife in the community who was not only glamorous but had also previously been a model.
What was special to me was that I was special to him. My sense of propriety, and behaviors with the opposite sex were informed by my desire to be the “little girl” my father expected me to be. I believed his friends, my uncles: Uncle Arty, Uncle Andy, Uncle Danny, Uncle Taylor, Uncle Al (none of whom were actual relatives) had the highest expectations of me as well. I happily conducted myself as one who wanted to live up to those expectations.
Today’s little girls need to know and feel the daddies, uncles, brothers, cousins and others love of them, value of them and having the highest expectations of them so that they have a vision of themselves to off-set the hoochy mamma images in the media. I thank God for my daddy and those he associated with. I was valued as his little girl while he, my mother, their friends, family and my community helped guide me into becoming a strong, focused, woman whose expectations helped me to become my best me.
Love and realness,