4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.
5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.
7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.
8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.
9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.
10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.
12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.
13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.
15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.
16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.
17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.
18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.
20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.
21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive the car.
22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.
23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.
24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.
26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.
27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.
29. Buy her flowers.
30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.
32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.
37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.
38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.
40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.
41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.
42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.
44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.
45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.
46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.
47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.
50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.