I had just prayed with the girls before they went to bed and came out of their room to pick up around the house. I came back to my laptop to do some work and heard pages turning in the girls' room. If it wasn't already way past the time she needed to sleep I would have let her read some more, but I walked in and asked for Kenni's flashlight and told her to put her book away. I wasn't harsh and spoke softly, but I was direct and I guess that combined with her feeling ashamed for being "caught" (good grief, it was only reading, right?... I supposed I should be glad she was trying to get in another chapter before her eyes fell shut.) Anyway... she put her book in between the mattress and bed frame and hung her head. I consoled her again... told her I loved her and said that she needed to get to sleep.
Not five minutes later I was at my desk doing some work and heard her crying... it wasn't just weepy tears... it was that sobbing sound down in her gut. For just a moment i thought... I'll talk to her in the morning... she'll be ok. I knew she was tired and I knew we'd talk about it later... I sat at my desk thinking she'll be ok... but I just couldn't stay in my chair. I went back in her room... I didn't need to say anymore than I already did, but just hugged her while she sobbed... she was embarrassed and tired... I knew she didn't want to disappoint me... I just needed her to know that I love her and that I will love and protect her with all my heart no matter what.
Dads: I'm not perfect either... but there's too much at stake in our little girls lives for us not to storm the gates for them every day. If we don't love and lead them well... they will look in futility for some other guy to fill that role... Guys: no other guy can do your job as, DAD. YOU have to do it. If you don't do ANYTHING else in life... do that job right.