Both of my girls are still young, ages seven and four, so we are still at the beginning of that long string of days that, eventually, leads to me walking them down the aisle to give each over to her future husband. I'm glad we've got awhile and that there are lots of weekends between now and then.
While it seems an enormous task to raise two confident, capable and faithful Catholic women--women who would tell the Pope to leave Avignon and get back to Rome where he belongs like St. Catherine of Siena but also follow the Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux—when viewed as a whole, the good news is that much of what's required day-to-day just involves being there.
I was there this past weekend for this:
Now, this is not my four-year-old holding the smaller of two alligators let loose in the swimming pool at her five-year-old friend's birthday party. Neither is this her grabbing hold of the tail of the larger of the two alligators:
(This same tail-grabbing child, by the way, would go on to spend most of the party snuggling and kissing this gator as if it were a medium-sized dog. I have pictures of that, too, but don't post identifiable images of children on the open internet).
In fact, having relegated my daughter to the wading end of the pool because of her not yet being able to swim proficiently, I was quite pleased that she wisely got out of the pool when one of the alligators was brought to her end of it. It's what sensible people do when they see a crocodilian of any size coming their way—they actively avoid it.
My older daughter has developed two laudable skills: how to strike a pose for the camera and how to perform in public. She no sooner saw the microphone than she was singing a song of her own creation about how great fathers are. She met with a very receptive audience. She then became the MC of the show and started showcasing the talents of the other girls.
Then the hostess brought out the boa constrictors...no, not this time. This was classic father/daughter time. But, I don't doubt my seven-year-old princess would grab an alligator by the tail if, for whatever reason in the modern world, she needed to. Or, for that matter, tell the Pope to go back to Rome.