A Note to Dads: Let Her Know She Makes You Proud
For 32 years, my dad was principal at the only elementary school on the east side of town. Growing up, his four children – Mary Kay, Mark, Jay and Sue – often heard some version of this statement, “Oh you must be related to Ken Payleitner, the principal. Is he your dad?”
My older sister heard that question more than any of us. After graduating college, Mary Kay began a successful real estate career and was never surprised when someone asked if she was related to Ken Payleitner.
One summer a young family moved to town and my sister helped them find the perfect home on the east side. As fall approached, that mom went to register her kindergartner and happened to meet the principal. Of course she said, “Oh you must be related to Mary Kay Payleitner, the real estate agent.” My dad didn’t miss a beat. He puffed up his chest a little and said, “Why yes that’s my daughter. She’s one of the best realtors in town.”
The story doesn’t end there. Later that day, the principal sat down and wrote a short note to the realtor. It began, “Dearest daughter, You made me proud today . . .”
The story still doesn’t end there. A few years later, somehow it came up that my sister had a record year selling real estate and had actually earned more than my dad. When he heard about it, the principal sat down and wrote another note to his oldest daughter. It began, “Dearest Mary Kay, You make me proud . . .”
Of course, all dads want their daughter to do well, to succeed. But would it be okay with you if she made more money than you? Would that bruise your male ego? Even if your little girl is still a little girl, you need to look at her and think, “Yes, that would be okay . . . that would be fantastic . . . I would be proud.”
The most relevant point to this story might be this: keep paper, envelopes, stamps and an up-to-date address book handy. While we can, let’s take advantage of the remarkable opportunity we have to put an envelope in the little box in front of our house and have it end up a few days later in the hands of our daughter who is off at camp, a college dorm, a military base, an apartment or wherever life has taken her. If she’s still living in a bedroom down the hallway, consider leaving a handwritten note on her pillow.
If you’re not sure what to write, consider starting with these proven words, “Dearest Daughter, You make me proud . . .”
BONUS SCRIPTURE: “I thank my God every time I remember you.” – Philippians 1:3
Jay Payleitner is a radio producer, popular speaker and author of ten books including 52 Things Daughters Need from Their Dads and One-Minute Devotions for Dads. For more, go to jaypayleitner.com.