Daddy's Little Girl
"Will you tell Daddy for me?"
That was the worst part. At seventeen, telling my mom I was pregnant was hard enough, but telling my dad was impossible. Daddy had always been a constant source of courage in my life. He had always looked at me with pride, and I had always tried to live my life in a way that would make him proud. Until this. Now it would all be shattered. I would no longer be Daddy's little girl. He would never look at me the same again. I heaved a defeated sigh and leaned against my mom for comfort.
"I'll have to take you somewhere while I tell your father. Do you understand why?"
"Yes, Mama." Because he wouldn't be able to look at me, that's why.
I went to spend the evening with the minister of our church, Brother Lu, who was the only person I felt comfortable with at that time. He counseled and consoled me, while Mom went home and called my dad at work to break the news.
It was all so unreal. At that time, being with someone who didn't judge me was a good thing. We prayed and talked, and I began to accept and understand the road that lay ahead for me. Then I saw the headlights in the window.
Mom had come back to take me home, and I knew Dad would be with her. I was so afraid. I ran out of the living room and into the small bathroom, closing and locking the door. Brother Lu followed and gently reprimanded me.
"Missy, you can't do this. You have to face him sooner or later. He isn't going home without you. C'mon."
"Okay, but will you stay with me? I'm scared."
"Of course, Missy. Of course." I opened the door and slowly followed Brother Lu back to the living room. Mom and Dad still hadn't come in yet. I figured they were sitting in the car, preparing Dad for what to do or say when he saw me. Mom knew how afraid I was. But it wasn't fear that my father would yell at me or be angry with me. I wasn't afraid of him. It was the sadness in his eyes that frightened me. The knowledge that I had been in trouble and pain, and had not come to him for help and support. The realization that I was no longer his little girl.
I heard the footsteps on the sidewalk and the light tap on the wooden door. My lip began to quiver, opening a new floodgate of tears, and I hid behind Brother Lu. Mom walked in first and hugged him, then looked at me with a weak smile. Her eyes were swollen from her own tears, and I was thankful she had not wept in front of me. And then he was there. He didn't even shake Luther's hand, just nodded as he swept by, coming to me and gathering me up into his strong arms, holding me close as he whispered to me, "I love you. I love you, and I will love your baby, too."
He didn't cry. Not my dad. But I felt him quiver against me. I knew it took all of his control not to cry, and I was proud of him for that. And thankful. When he pulled back and looked at me, there was love and pride in his eyes. Even at that difficult moment.
"I'm sorry, Daddy. I love you so much."
"I know. Let's go home." And home we went. All of my fear was gone. There would still be pain and trials that I could not even imagine. But I had a strong, loving family that I knew would always be there for me. Most of all, I was still Daddy's little girl, and armed with that knowledge, there wasn't a mountain I couldn't climb or a storm I couldn't weather.
Thank you, Daddy.