I am not Matthew McConaghey. I am not my own idol. You might be surprised who my idol is. My idol is my 3-year-old daughter.
How could a 3-year-old be an idol of someone who is almost 40 years her senior? How could someone who can’t care for herself inspire me? Oh, let me count the ways.
She expresses love, a lot.
My daughter truly has unconditional love for me and her mother. She tells us this without prodding or training. She loves me and expresses this often. We don’t do this nearly enough as a society, and it has certainly inspired me to show my love to my wife and child as often as possible.
She is willing to forgive.
She doesn’t hold it against me yet when she is disciplined or told no. And she is especially forgiving after some rest. Hopefully, her eventual loss of an afternoon nap doesn’t change this too much.
She is resilient.
She recently endured a trip to the hospital. Not only was she unfazed by being in an ambulance, but she handled having an IV put into her hand, more than once.She is taking a soccer class where she is the only girl. She initially was taken aback by that. Then, she decided that the actions of the boys should not ruin her enjoyment. Since this will not be the only time she will be “one of” or “the only”, it is important that she has these experiences early. Thankfully, she handles them well. In addition, if you ask her why do we fall down, she will answer, “To get back up.” Yeah, my parenting is totally influenced by pop culture. I also quote Aaliyah. “Camilla, if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” And Uncle Jay. “Camilla. Get. That. Dirt off your shoulder.” But, I digress.
She is willing to try new things.
She has strong observational skills.
What she notices is remarkable. She recently noticed a mistake in her Doc McStuffins book. I have read this to her dozens of times since we bought the book, and I never noticed it. Adults just don’t seem to notice the things three year olds do. It is certainly a reminder to not take so much for granted.
And, she said this. “You’re not like the other dads. You’re brown. But I’m brown, too. And that’s good. And we love each other. And we have happy faces.”
So, my daughter at age 3 is my idol. I am not ashamed to say this. Simply put, she is a model of kindness and is the type of human being I aspire to be. Here’s hoping my daughter at age 16 is still my idol.