I published an article in the On Parenting section of the Washington Post today. The article, "Nurturing the father-daughter relationship I didn’t have," is a personal one about father-daughter relationships.
It was the much-anticipated school play, and there I was in the teeming auditorium, wrangling an enormous camera and a wiggly toddler next to my husband, scanning little faces for my eldest child up on stage. After curtain call, our 7-year-old daughter ran over to us, a radiant smile spread across her face. “Are you proud of me?” she beamed. “We are so proud of you, baby girl!” we exclaimed. My husband swept her up in the air, and she nuzzled her head contentedly on his chest, skinny arms draped over her daddy’s shoulders. I felt an unfamiliar kind of ease, a sense of triumph I could not quite decipher.
I remembered the little girl I once was, the child who wanted to sing and dance and play, to hear soft, encouraging words from her father. “Papi, can I have dance lessons?” I asked shyly. Singing and dancing is for whores, he said, looking at me accusingly. I lowered my head, feeling somehow ashamed of a word I did not quite comprehend. I was the same age our daughter is now, 7.