|Publisher:||Focus on the Family|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
Read an Excerpt
She Calls Me Daddy
7 Things You Need to Know About Building a Complete Daughter
By Robert Wolgemuth
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2014 Robert D. Wolgemuth
All rights reserved.
What's a Nice Guy Like You Doing in a Book Like This?
If I sat here for three or four weeks, I could not adequately describe just how important the father-daughter relationship is.
—dr. James dobson
"Are you awake?"
It had been almost an hour since we had gone to bed, but I sensed that my wife, Bobbie, hadn't dozed off either, so I broke the silence with the question.
"Uh-huh," came her quiet reply.
Then, trying not to sound too worried, I asked if she thought it was about time for us to hear our 15-year-old daughter walking through the front door. "When did Missy say she would be home?" I asked, mustering all the confidence I could to keep my voice from quavering.
"Around eleven," Bobbie returned, her voice sounding strong and sure. She had decided to put on the same act.
We lay there for a few more minutes, neither of us speaking. Before asking the question, I had checked my nightstand clock. It was 11:25. I knew Missy was late—not a normal thing for her. More silence.
"Maybe we ought to make a call to see if we can find her," I finally said, losing most of my on-top-of-it tone of voice.
In a flash, Bobbie's nightstand lamp was on, and she was dialing. A sleepy youth pastor's wife finally picked up the phone. "Susan, this is Bobbie Wolgemuth, and I'm sorry to call you so late, but have Missy and David left your house?"
Although I couldn't hear Susan's answer, I could tell by Bobbie's tone as the conversation continued that the kids had left a long time before, with plenty of time to be home by now.
"Where's Missy?" Bobbie said as she hung up the phone, making no attempt to hide her frustration and fear.
Our daughter and her friend David had been at Mark and Susan's for a Sunday night Bible study. David was a 17-year-old boy who was like a brother to Missy and a son to us. A welcome "member" of our family, David would come and go from our house without ever knocking on the door. Our TV was his TV. Our refrigerator was his refrigerator. We liked that.
But tonight, David was keeping me from going to sleep, and I wanted to know why.
We waited. Eleven forty-five, no Missy. Midnight, no Missy. Ten after twelve ...
"I'm getting up," I finally announced. "I'm going downstairs to wait."
Bobbie said nothing. She was either praying for Missy or planning David's caning in the mall parking lot.
By the time I made it to the front door, David's car was turning into our driveway, his headlights sweeping across the front of our house. "Finally," I said loud enough for Bobbie to hear me upstairs. "She's home."
Instead of trudging back up the stairs to bed, I thought I'd wait for Missy to get inside so I could ask her to explain where she had been and why she hadn't called.
David's car came to a stop, the headlights went out, the engine went quiet, and both David and Missy launched from each side of the car and came bounding up the walk to the front door.
Standing there in nothing but my snow-white Jockey shorts, I quickly came to two realizations: (1) There was no time to dash up the stairs without being seen, and (2) if I stepped around the corner into the living room, no one would ever see me in that condition. In the next room, I found a good shadowed spot.
The front door opened, and Missy came in with David right on her heels. What's going on? I wondered. Don't these kids know what time it is?
Missy scrambled up the stairs to get something, leaving David standing just inside the front door. For what seemed like a minute or two, he stood there, not having any idea that Missy's dad was just around the corner.
Then it happened. David began to move, and as he did, he started quietly humming. I could tell by the growing sound of the "music" that he was shuffling toward the living room.
I panicked, my mind dropping into overdrive. If I tuck myself into the shadow next to the piano, hell never see me. I was proud of myself for thinking so quickly at that time of the night.
David walked to the doorway into the living room and stopped. Continuing to hum, he scanned the darkness. I felt like a fugitive hiding from the long arm of the law ... in my own house. I could clearly see him. He could not see me.
Unfortunately, David began to move again, coming right toward the piano where I was standing.
By the time he finally saw me, this unsuspecting, red-headed, 17-year-old boy was about 10 inches away. There he stood, Mr. All-Conference-Student-Leader-and-Everyone's-Favorite-Teenage-Boy. And there I stood, Tarzan of the Living Room.
"Hello, David," I said casually, as though I had bumped into him at a school function. "What are you doing here?"
The boy gasped, quickly sucking in just enough air to keep from collapsing. His body froze, but in the darkness, I could see his eyes moving up and down, scanning my terrific outfit.
At that moment, Missy burst into the living room. A stuffed animal the kids at church passed around like a mascot—a green snake named "Cecil"—was tucked under her arm.
"Dad," she exclaimed, "what are you doing here?"
What Are You Doing Here?
Whatever the reason you have this book in your hand, you're probably a dad with a daughter and you are here. Maybe you're a brand-new father of a baby girl, and you want to find out what you're in for. Or perhaps your daughter has been around for a few years, and although you think you're doing a pretty good job as the daddy, you'd like some help. It could be that your daughter is just about to step across the threshold into woman hood, and you're a little nervous.
Whatever the reason, I'm glad you're here. Being the father of a girl can be a journey into the great unknown, and it makes no sense to go it alone especially when you don't need to. You've spent your whole life as a male, so you know that if this were a son, you could give him a pointer or two from your own experience as he moves through his growing-up years. But this is a girl, and there are two things you know for sure: (1) She's your responsibility, and (2) you have no personal experience that will help you.
Artist's Rendering of the Finished Project
During my years in sales, I visited many corporate lobbies. While waiting for an appointment, I rarely sat down. Sitting made me even more nervous than I was already. This was usually a source of frustration for the receptionist, who would repeatedly order me to sit by gently "inviting" me to take a seat.
"Can I get you something?" she would ask.
"No, thank you," I'd say without sitting down.
"Are you sure I can't get you something?"
"Thank you. I'm sure."
Often, I'd slowly circle around those lovely waiting areas looking at things on the wall. Sometimes there were paintings, or plaques of recognition awarded to this company. Sometimes I would see a framed and colorful illustration—an artist's rendering—of the corporation's next building expansion. It was a new wing on the existing building or a whole new building. In either case, given my love for construction, I would be fascinated with those glimpses into the future, studying every detail. Sometimes I'd study the cars that the architects had painted in the pretend parking lots, trying to see if I could identify the models.
Let's say that once the corporation found enough capital to proceed with their new building and all the bids were in, Cousin Larry's Construction Company got the project. If Cousin Larry was as smart as everyone said he was, he would have asked for that drawing to be hung in a place where his employees and subcontractors could see it every day. Maybe in the construction trailer. It would have been a great help to Larry and his people if they could begin—and continue—working on this project, focusing not on the necessary work and details of any complex construction assignment but on the finished product—the beautiful results.
The greatest challenge you'll face as the father of a daughter is to keep from being distracted by the day-to-day stuff—the little duties and challenges and frustrations that can easily capture a dad's full-time attention. Instead, I'm encouraging you to do what Cousin Larry did. Keep a picture in your mind of what it is you're building here: a healthy, poised, confident, balanced, and happy woman—a complete daughter who will someday be counted among your closest friends. Begin—and continue—building with the end in mind.
This book will help you do that.
The Project of a Lifetime
Don't you love Saturday mornings? You go to bed late Friday night, knowing you can sleep in as long as you want because the weekend has arrived. But suppose one particular Saturday morning, something's wrong. You're lying in bed wide awake, and there's no going back to sleep.
The dawning sun hasn't even squeezed through the bedroom blinds. You glance at the digital clock on your nightstand: 6:11! So why is it so tough to wake up on a weekday when I have to get up, you think, but now that I can sleep as late as I want to, I'm lying here wide awake?
The answer is simple. You've got a project. You've been looking forward to starting it for a long time. It's going to take a stack of pressure-treated wood, which was delivered this week. You've been to Home Depot (or whatever the huge, buy-every-possible-building-supply-youcould-ever-need-under-one-roof warehouse store is called where you live) and loaded up. Beep. "Someone in Lumber dial 3-4-4." The guy in building supplies with the orange canvas bib that said, "Hello, my name is Dave. Can I help you?" was quite that—helpful. Now you've got your galvanized nails and bolts, a new extra-long drill bit, and several bags of premixed concrete.
You can hardly wait to get started.
Because your wife doesn't have a construction project this morning, she is still sleeping. You try to make very little noise. Quietly pulling on a pair of old jeans and crawling into your favorite sweatshirt, you slip out your bedroom door, tiptoe down the hallway so you don't wake the baby, then head down the stairs and into the garage, where everything is waiting.
You and your wife have been talking for a long time about building a deck on the back of the house. You've walked around your backyard many times, surveying the site. You've even stood where the deck will be, envisioning your new view when it's done. And you have one of those oversized, chrome propane gas grills on layaway, waiting for its new home.
Your neighbors have heard all about this deck, and frankly, they're hoping it looks great so they can (have you help them) build one, too.
Projects are terrific.
This Little Girl of Ours
Because you're reading this book, you've probably stood at your wife's hospital bedside and looked into the squinting, ruddy face of a brand-new baby girl. Not, of course, just any baby girl, but your baby girl.
You know the awe, the thrill of realizing she's yours. This is a remarkable other-world sensation, isn't it?
My son-in-law Christopher, a grandson of the country of Haiti, has tawny skin and jet black eyes. His wife, our Julie, has dark brown eyes, so there was no doubt that their first child's eyes would lean toward ebony. The chances for a blue-eyed infant were zero.
A guest-with-daddy-privileges in the delivery room, Christopher stood where he could witness the baby's introduction to the world. Doctors and nurses scurried about. Exhausted from hours of hard labor, Julie pushed.
"Suddenly I saw the baby's face," Christopher told me later. "Her eyes were wide open." He paused and gathered his composure. "Dad," he told me that morning, "she was looking right at me. It was like those eyes were saying, 'So you're the guy?'"
Many years later, the feeling of that moment is still etched in Christopher's memory. "I was suddenly a dad."
For Christopher, even though this happened many years ago, the joy and sobriety of the sight of those eyes looking right at him is still very fresh. Handing him a large, shiny, and very clean pair of scissors, the doctor asked Christopher to cut the umbilical cord. He squeezed, and the cord was severed. Until this instant, the baby had literally been connected to her mother. Miraculously, helping to shape little Harper's character would now be his responsibility.
You have your own story, don't you? Go back to that moment in your memory right now. Are you there?
What year was it? What was the name of the hospital? Do you remember the name of your wife's doctor? What time of year was it? What time of day? How long had your wife been in labor? Were you tired? Was your wife tired? (I'm kidding.)
Okay, are you standing there? It's an amazing moment—an absolutely breathtaking, speechless moment. You don't remember ever feeling such wonder.
Perhaps you're thinking, Is this really happening to me? Is this little person actually mine? When am I going to be able to take her home? What will I do with her when we get home? She looks so fragile. If I pick her up, will she break? I can barely handle myself ... and my marriage ... now this!
What I want you to do is to see yourself looking at that baby, just as you stood in your backyard imagining the deck you were about to build. This is going to be the most unbelievable project you've ever tackled. You're responsible to help "build" this little girl into a woman. Sure, there are others who could do it, but you're the dad, and in spite of how you feel at the moment, no one is more qualified than you.
And just like that Saturday morning when you couldn't sleep in, suddenly it's time to get excited about this project—very excited. In fact, I'll make you a promise: This project will give you more satisfaction than any old wooden deck possibly could.
And What About Tomorrow?
Now we're going on another journey. This one's into the future.
Your "little" girl has never looked more angelic than she does at this moment. The radiance of her face almost seems to be throwing off light. Her dress is the purest white you think you've ever seen.
The two of you are standing in front of closed double doors, and she has her arm gently tucked under yours. The organist begins playing, the doors open, and you and your daughter are slowly walking down the center aisle of a familiar place, your home church. You can feel your heart pounding in your temples. The people are standing. You look left and right into the faces of well-wishers. Extended family. Lifetime friends. You have never been more proud. You're having one of those epiphanies where you can almost stand back and watch yourself. You don't remember having the bottom of your feet tingle before, but this is actually happening. It's an overwhelming and awesome experience.
The walk to the front of the sanctuary has ended. You stand silently while the organist finishes the processional.
Except for the tingling in your feet, your whole body is numb, almost trancelike. You've been a guest at so many of these things and seen other dads standing with the bride, but you never expected it to be quite like this.
The minister has finished his opening remarks. You know he's getting close to asking you the big question. You're just about to place your girl into someone else's care for the rest of her life. For a split second, you panic.
What's my line? What's my cue? What am I supposed to say? Can someone please help me? Your mind screams for the words.
But just as you practiced the night before, when the minister says, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" you calmly speak the words that close the deal: "Her mother and I do."
You gently take her hand from your arm, place it into the minister's hand, and quietly sit down.
Excerpted from She Calls Me Daddy by Robert Wolgemuth. Copyright © 2014 Robert D. Wolgemuth. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword Gary Greg Smalley xi
Preface Missy Wolgemuth Schrader Julie Wolgemuth Tassy xv
Part 1 Someone Who Calls You "Daddy"
1 What's a Nice Guy Like You Doing in a Book Like This? 3
2 Hanging in There: Sure, I Can Finish This Today 19
Part 2 Never Too Tough, Never Too Tender-Seven Things You Must Know
3 Protection: Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound 33
4 Conversation: Just Keep Talking 57
5 Affection: Daddy, Hold Me 81
6 Discipline: A Sledgehammer, a Couple of Crowbars, and a Level 99
7 Laughter: Did You Hear the One About? 119
8 Faith: Jesus Loves Me, This I Know 133
9 Conduct: You be the Judge 159
Part 3 Gentlemen, We Have Our Assignments
10 A Quick Look Inside: the Guy from the City Inspector's Office 193
Afterword: A Chapter for "Special" Dads: Stepdads, Long-Distance Dads, and Single Dads 207
Questions for Discussion 215
Grace Wolgemuth's 26 Bible Verses 223
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great book for any man of daughter(s) from birth through teenage years. It's so unique now that the author’s girls are grown that it's been updated from his new perspective and they have given input! It was a great book already and now has this new perspective and a lot of new material. Our girls need this Godly foundation with their Dad's in our world today! This is invaluable for Dads to build the strong relationships with their girls that will set them up to face the world.