Jenn Morgan Danny Drake

Fess up - who's spell are you under? As much as we would like to think that we are all wild creatures that could travel at whim and wander any where the wind blows, there is almost always someone, somewhere in this world that keeps us grounded and feeling both needy and needed.

As a wife, mother and daughter, I am grounded by my husband, little girl, two zany pups and of course, my daddy. Dads are a juxtaposition by nature. On the exterior they are manly men, ready with hammer and sports drink in hand to tackle any fix-it task. On the interior, I think they are made out of sugar and spice. I swear, I can actually see big men soften as they begin to develop a family. Especially if they have a little girl. Daughters can melt a daddy's heart.

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When I announced to my husband that I was pregnant and congratulated him on his new-found role in life, he was happy but in disbelief. We both were in a bit of a stupor for a few days while we digested the news. Once reality finally set in, I immediately began planning the nursery and my husband dusted off his beloved childhood Tonka trucks that he had been saving for such an occasion. Before I had even taken the test, I knew I was pregnant. And instinctively I felt that we were having a girl. My husband, who over-analyzed a few specific phrases spoken by the ultrasound technicians, had me convinced that we were having a boy. With Tonka trucks ready for rough and tough little boy play, we headed off to the hospital and surprise .... we were blessed with a girl! Before the cord was cut, I could see my husband's mind racing. I am pretty sure he was debating on whether to pack up the toy trucks and save them for next time, or paint them pink.

I know my husband was excited to share his love of toy trucks and baseball with a junior, but now that we have Isabella in our life, he has forgotten all about the trucks and has become a big softy. He loves his little girl and couldn't imagine our family turning out any other way. It is very natural for mothers to share in the joys of tea parties, doll play and princesses with their girls, but it is surprising, yet pleasing to see daddies do the same.

My little family went to a pumpkin fair this weekend and while perusing the vendors, I spotted a blue and green jungle-themed blanket that I just adored. I was ready to purchase the blanket for Isabella when my hubby threw up a protest because he thought she would rather have a princess blanket instead. Wait, hold the phone. The same man who was all boy-talk was now worried that our little princess needed Cinderella or Snow White? It was in a word, adorable. We ended up with the jungle baby blanket, but it was cute that he tried. A few hundred feet further there was a little tent decked out with little girl tutus. I literally speed-walked/ran over to the little storefront for Tutu Cute by J&K. I was in all my glory, living vicariously through my daughter with the tutus, fairy wings and wands and gasp ... even little dolly tutus! I looked over at my husband with a huge grin and he greeted my excitement with an exaggerated roll of his eyes. The shop owner, who crafts these fluffy pink creations, helped me dress my daughter in a fairy costume. Isabella was so happy, she strutted around and drew a little audience of gawkers. My husband, who had rolled his eyes five minutes prior, suddenly had a change of heart about this little shop. He was engaged and excited to see our little girl a flutter with joy. In fact, after we were a few feet away, he turned on his heels and ran back to grab a handful of her business cards so he could pass out to friends and coworkers. Man to man, now that is a conversation I would love to overhear. As we carried our little fairy out of the fairgrounds, we passed a family with five little girls. He asked me, "should we go give them her business card?" I just gave my little Charmin man a squeeze. Under his hard exterior is a little softy, uncovered because of the tender love for our daughter. It is amazing how a little daughter can move 200 lbs so easily, when it is such a chore for her mother.



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