Meet my daughters' heroes, their bodyguards, their guardian angels, their Hercules x 2, the Davids to their Goliaths. Between these two men, a standard has been set in my daughters' lives that I pray will last forever.
Alora (9) and Vivia (3) seldom fantasize about being princesses; they call dibs and head directly for the queen's throne. They are confident and dare to dream bigger than most minds are capable. Behind so much of their courage and audacity are the two men behind them: daddy & granddaddy.
Daddy (Johnny), is a fun but to-the-point kind of guy. He helps the girls understand how the world works, and teaches them toughness. Johnny's also a fixer of all the things. I swear he was McGuyver's mentor in another life! With his fix-it skills, he teaches our daughters how to be resourceful and to think through problems in order to solve them.
In the next breath, however, you'll find him chasing the girls for hugs & kisses or outside guiding them in a quest to catch some lone animal. They roam the yard like ninja hunters doing things that makes this mama's nerves bad! "Daddy" is the wild, adventurous one; you never know what to expect!
Granddaddy (Barry) is the true patriarch of the family. Through him, Alora and Vivia gain wisdom beyond their years. They learn the art of mental tenacity and the importance of self-control (still a work in progress). He shows the girls, by example, how to value their health and care for their bodies.
At the same time, "granddaddy" knows how to have fun! He plays games and still picks up Alora like she's three years old (she's 9). He teaches them how to play tennis, basketball, and how to embody the values of a good athlete.
To be loved immensely and assured that you can reach any goal you pursue is all that most of us wish for. I feel so fortunate to have these kind of men in my daughters lives. Their father and grandfather show up and step up EVERY day!
Alora and Vivia are witnessing how fathers are to love, protect, and provide for their families. They see how a man should love and respect a woman. It's beautiful and I hope that my daughters will only choose/accept men who exhibit the same traits. Once a standard has been set, there should be no going backwards. Anything less than what you're accustomed to is unacceptable.
I'm so thankful for the love of my life (Johnny) and the first man to ever love me, my daddy (Barry). These two have set the bar to a level that makes this daughter/woman/mama proud, less afraid, and excited about the future.
I couldn't ask for better dad heroes for my girls or myself.