Who Holds Your Heart?
Inasmuch as one has undertaken to compile an account of the things that transpired yesterday among us, it seemed fitting for me as well, having experienced them myself and investigated carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order most excellent blogosphere.
Yesterday I took my 5-year-old daughter, Areyna, (well, she turns 5 Sunday, but she might as well be 16 for crying out loud) out for an amazing day of father-daughter bonding. Tasha and I have been praying and seeking the Lord on ways to creatively reach her heart. It just so happened that on the way down to Georgia last week, we began reading a book together called, Raising a Modern-Day Princess. The authors list many creative ways to help to begin teaching your daughter what biblical womanhood is all about. So, I can’t take total credit for what I’m about to tell you.
We both got dolled up and went to IHOP for one of her favorite meals … pancakes. And it was there that I presented her with two gifts containing one significant meaning. I gave her a necklace with a silver key on it, as well as a charm holding a key and a heart. After presenting them to her over pancakes, I explained that right now Daddy holds the keys to her heart. Which means that I’m going to do everything in my power to protect her heart, to love her heart, to care for and cherish her heart. Until the day that the Lord brings a young man into her life who will become her husband—her new heart protector. And when that day comes (100 years from now), those keys will be handed over to that man (unless I kill him first) and he will then be the one who holds the keys to her heart. BUT until that day, it’s Daddy alone who holds those keys and who will make decisions that are in the best interest of protecting her heart.
After explaining all of that I asked her to repeat what I had said, to see if she understood. After a few blank stares, I asked it another way. I said, “Rainy, whenever you look at these keys worn around your neck, what will you think of?” She answered with a smile, “That you hold my heart!” I about melted like strawberry butter right there all over the IHOP dining room floor. That was it exactly. Even if she can’t explain all the nuances of love and marriage and what all that stuff means, she knows what really matters. She knows whose responsibility it is now, and whose responsibility it will be one day to protect, and care for, and cherish her heart. And that’s exactly what I needed her to understand.
After IHOP we gallivanted around Raleigh the rest of the afternoon, took in The Princess and the Frog at the $1.50 movies and just enjoyed being together. (Seriously, when you get her away from Zeke or other kids, she’s about as grown up as they come. Crazy.)
By the end of the afternoon, we were both spent, but we were also very much beaming from ear-to-ear with the events that had just transpired. Let’s just say it was a very special day for both Daddy and daughter–the first milestone along her path to maturity and her rite of passage. I’m a blessed man.