I make no secret about it. I love my daughters. I am proud of my daughters. I have no favorite, they are both equals. Each offers their own individual talents while sharing the same values and intelligence. So far, so good. As a Dad, I have done my job. I need to make sure, now in their true formative years, that they are prepared for relationships and responsibilities. They have learned as much as they can about the importance of giving respect, trust, and loyalty, now they learn the importance of having it returned in kind.
Gentlelmen, take note. You must open doors, bring flowers, listen to, and most importantly, treat them as special as I know they most certainly are. Financially, a lot of mistakes were made in our family, and I am hoping that while they were not aware of them, that I am setting an example for them of financial responsibility and accountability, or the simple concept, living within your means. And of course, a big one, time management. As both of my daughters have found out in their later years of school, how easy it is to fall behind in just one day, when not prioritizing homework appropriately, spending too much time on one project, and running out of time to finish the rest. Of course that only works when you do not wait til the last minute for that type of assignment.
As I mentioned, each has their unique talents, though I hope that there are some things that hopefully they have learned from me that will help them appreciate, relax, and enjoy the simple things of life. They both enjoy music, and have their genre preferences.
Being a writer, my daughters know who they rely on for proofreading. In fact, if I am not mistaken, I might even be proofreading some of their friends papers as well. For several years, I even participated in judging term papers for various science organizations with high school essays.
If there is one thing that I do not enjoy writing, it is poetry. Short stories, research papers, and finally, even a book (in the process), I can spend any amount of time. But poetry, not a chance. But for the second year in a row, now my youngest daughter, has requested my help in writing a sonnet for her Shakespearean English project. I was all too happy to oblige. But first, just like last year, I needed to remind myself, what I learned forty years ago, forgot, refreshed last year, and forgot again, what was a sonnet.
My daughter explained the rhyme scheme necessary, and I was introduced to “quattrains.” And with that, I taught my daughter how to write, anything, it did not matter. My formula, which does not necessarily apply to everyone, is to start with the ideas, not with the intent of sitting at the keyboard and just typing until you are exhausted.
She had some subjects to choose from. Her decision was time. So, with four quattrains to work with, so that there was an even flow of progression, she began with being unaware of time (as a young child), time impacting activities (as a child, such as school, meals), how time has an impact on everything that happens, and finally how time can be lost and should be appreciated while you have it.
From each of those quattrain ideas, she came up with four lines each, except for the last one, which only had two lines. The hardest part then became the final word of each line, to rhyme. In the end, I could not believe my eyes. Another beautiful sonnet written by each of my daughters now. Of course, out of respect, I do not have permission from her to share that poem here. But I am definitely one proud Papa.