I don’t worry about the decisions my daughters Haley Anne and Emma Jo are going to make in their lives.

Since Haley Anne was 7 years old we have gone on “dates”.

This means we set time aside to go out and spend one-on-one time together. Often this is dinner, art shows, or book readings. It involves making reservations, dressing up and making an effort. During this time together I tell her comparative stories about my own youth, my parents – and, especially my Dad and Granddad.

Granddad taught me how to be a businessman. My Dad taught me how to be a terrific father and loving husband. /1 They were great examples of how good men treat women in their lives.

So far, I think one of the best things I have done is explain to Haley Anne that the thing I want her to focus on, above any thing else, is how I treat her Mother. I have explained to her that Joanne, Haley Anne and Emma Jo are all gifts that God has given me. All I need to do is treasure them; love them; treat them with respect; make them happy; and, increase their value. I have pointedly invited Haley Anne (and soon Emma Jo) to hold me accountable.

So, Haley understands that she must develop expectations for the men in her life. I want the bar to be very high. I know that one day I will hand her off to some other fellow. But, in this way, I can do it, in part, on my own terms.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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1/ See my Blog Entry entitled “My Dad: Story 22 – Married for Life”.

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