Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mustaches, Caterpillar Kisses, and Daddy's Love for His Daughter

If you missed today's edition of "On the Box," then you missed "The Decision" (Lebron James pun intended).

I recently lost one of my closest friends to an attack with a mustache. I got bored one evening and shaved it off. Well, some viewers of the show were more attached (and maybe unhealthily so) to my mustache than I was, and have since asked for me to grow it back.

So, I asked for a vote on Facebook and Twitter. While not a landslide, it appears more people are for than against the return of the mustache.

While I have decided to grow my mustache back (which, with a few exceptions--working at In-n-Out Burgers, the Sheriff's Department Academy, and a couple of trimming hiccups along the way--has been with me since I was 12-years-old), popular opinion did not sway my decision. But the opinion of one very special young lady did.

This is one of the pictures I cherish the most. It's me, with my youngest daughter, Amanda, a few years ago. Amanda, who will be 18 in a couple months, was with me at the Burbank Media Center to do some evangelism. One of the members of my team caught this tender moment between me and my little girl.

I would love to say Amanda is a "daddy's girl," but she's not. The bond between Amanda and her mom is so very strong, there are times I almost find myself fighting back jealousy. At the same time, Amanda and I are very much alike--in some good ways and in some ways we both would like to change. One way in which we are very similar, almost to a fault, is our senses of humor. We love goofing off, being quick-witted, and having the best comeback to a friendly jab. Sometimes our conversations will have the rest of the family in tears, with laughter.

I cherish my relationship with all three of my beautiful daughters. And that, of course, includes Amanda.

When Amanda was very young, she loved to have me read her stories. And one of her favorite stories was (and maybe still is) "Butterfly Kisses," by Bob Carlisle. The little Golden Book was based on Carlisle's popular song, by the same name.

Part of the story book reads:
Forever and for always--
That's how a Daddy loves his girl.
To Mommy and me you'll always be
The most beautiful girl in the world.

And Daddy, I remember when
You first show me this:
You brushed my cheek with your long eyelashes
And said that's how butterflies kiss!
Well, the moment I read those words to Amanda, she wanted me to give her butterfly kisses. But, Daddy's eyelashes were not long enough. She was disappointed. So, I had to think fast on my feet. And then it hit me.

"Honey, Daddy has something better than butterfly kisses. How about caterpillar kisses?"

Of course, my skeptical deputy's daughter gave me a quizzical look. After convincing her that some caterpillars are actually furry, I rubbed her little nose with my mustache.

"See! Butterfly kisses!"

A very special Daddy/daughter tradition was born. Almost every night since, Amanda has given me a kiss and a hug (which we call "squishers") good-night. And, even though now she is a young woman, every night we share a caterpillar kiss.

Amanda was truly disappointed when I shaved off my mustache. The tradition could not continue without my mustache. My little girl didn't want the tradition to end. And neither did I.

So, for you, my dear Amanda, Daddy will let the caterpillar return. It won't be long before we are sharing caterpillar kisses, again.