He Didn't Have To Love Her

He Didn't Have To Love Her

I can't blame him for loving her, she steals every heart she meets
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When I was 14 I met what would have been my first serious boyfriend. Things were always rocky, I attributed it to our ages and the fact that neither of us had any idea what we were doing — no matter how much we tried to convince the world we did. We were reckless and careless and low and behold I got pregnant with what is now the greatest blessing that has ever walked the face of the earth.

Our young love couldn't weather the storm. I outgrew him and the dynamic we had. Things grew uglier by the minute and I, who was the rock for us all, finally crumbled. I decided that I would officially become a single parent. It was the most terrifying decision I have ever made. I worried for my daughter; I worried about the possibility that later in life she may feel resentment because I was the one who destroyed her single family unit. I worried that I'd never find a partner who would accept me — my body that had been changed and worn to give life, the marks and the proof that I couldn't hide that I was a mother. I gave life to a new being, but I worried that I would be criticized because that life would not have come from my new partner. I worried that I couldn't find someone who accepts that they come a little further from first on my list of priorities, that I couldn't leave on a whim or take trips alone without extensive planning. I worried that no one could love my baby girl like I do.

But then he did.

He didn't have to. This man did not have to appear and carry this immense weight. He didn't have to love her. Hell, he didn't have to love me. He didn't have to understand, he didn't have to take the time to learn about how I discipline my child. He didn't have to take on the responsibility of becoming a role model to a tiny being without the nine months of pregnancy to prepare himself. He didn't have to read obnoxious children's stories on the couch or watch Disney movies. He didn't have to learn how to properly install a car seat in his sports car, he didn't have to get her gummy candy on the way home that she would inevitably stick to the seats of his car — and he definitely didn't have to laugh that one off.

He didn't have to let me sleep in a little longer, he didn't have to get her in the morning and pull her into bed with us for extra snuggles. He didn't have to sit in the chair while she gave him every toy she owns to look at. He didn't have to leap from the couch to go get chicken nuggets because she asked him to (Trust me, 40 chicken nuggets was overkill.) He didn't have to dance with her in the living room to his favorite songs. He didn't have to listen to her stories that are half English and half whatever language she's made up that day. He didn't have to come to appointments or carry her up the stairs. He didn't have to give her a kiss and a hug every time he leaves even though he tries to convince her that "boys are gross." He didn't have to tell her goodnight. He didn't have to, but he does. He didn't have to accept the responsibility without the title. He didn't have to bring her into his world by choice.

He didn't have to love her, but thank God he does.

Cover Image Credit: Aislyn VanGenderen

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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To The Dad Who Works Out Of Town, Thank You For All You Do

Thank you for everything you do, I wouldn't have the things I do if it wasn't for you.

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I want to say Thank you. Thank you for sleeping in hotel beds every night. Thank you for eating sandwiches some days for lunch while I ate my pizza Lunchables in my brand new Hello Kitty lunchbox.

Thank you for taking your truck with no cruise control some weeks for work because I wanted to drive your car. I'm sure driving for four hours straight with your foot on the pedal was pretty boring. Thank you for filling up the car before you let me drive it as well.

Thank you for waking up at 3 and 4 a.m. to head out of town to work and being so quiet while doing so. Thank you for adding lunch money to my account while you're over 100 miles away. Thank you for working sometimes 10-14 days straight without a day off. I can never thank you enough for what you do.

Thank you for filling my truck up in high school every Sunday night before you left for work. Thank you for spending your lunch breaks calling and making orthodontist appointments for me. Thank you for taking days off work to take me to some of these appointments. Thank you for always fitting me in.

While being out of town can make you feel like an absent parent, I promise you are not that. You always make sure to call me during the week. If I'm sick and didn't go to class, you call and check on me. You even call and remind me of things I need to get done like returning my rental book.

If it wasn't for you working out of town, I wouldn't have the luxuries I do now. I want you to know I am thankful for you.

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