There are days, as a parent, when my heart cracks open.

I remember it happening for the first time about a week after I was handed a sleeping, peeling, slightly-gray, overcooked baby boy. We were sitting in the bathroom floor and I was massaging lotion into all his nooks and crannies to help shed the peeling skin and he looked in my direction and sighed.


I didn't understand the feeling at first. It was painful in the same way that soaring hopes make you want to reach for grounding material. Painful in a way that makes you believe in God and understand your mother.

The cracking has happened again and again over the years. First steps and big words and new babies and laughter and tears have sent fissures ripping through my heart, endlessly.

But today, watching my Mountain Man walking his daughter into preschool for her very first day, watching her hand hooked first into his back pocket and then into his palm, watching her break down and him scoop her up?

I swear everyone in a ten-mile radius heard the earthquake echoing out of me. The ground surely rumbled and buildings swayed as the little girl in me felt that soaring hope that only little girls and their daddies can understand.

I am a fatherless daughter. It has shaped me. But my daughter is loved in a way that I'll never understand, a way I can't truly appreciate and may even be slightly envious of.

No, not envious. Inspired. I am inspired by the way this man loves this child. I am inspired by the way any man loves his child, but especially this man loving this child who looks and acts so much like me.

She is lovable the way I am lovable. She is amazing the way I am amazing. She is enough the way I am enough.

But it took this man on this day to help me see it.


***This post is part of Bigger Picture Moments.***


  • Kim

    Darn you, Kelly! You made me cry sitting at my desk at work trying to eat lunch! How sweet - and how wonderful that must have felt!

  • Unknown

    oh goodness that face, so sweet and what a beautiful post

  • Kelly Miller

    I'm sorry Kim. It made me cry, too. Thankfully I'm doing it from the couch!

  • Kelly Miller

    @Courtney - I know, the face is too much. She recovered quickly, though, and survey says she's enjoying her first day of preschool.

  • Unknown

    This is so beautiful. It must be tweeted.

  • Tina

    Oh, what a lucky girl...and a lucky gal...and a lucky man! Hope she got through her first day okay?

  • Kelly Miller

    It was fantastic, she says. She kissed a "weal" raccoon and went on a field trip to a zoo where she saw a baby cow and a baby wolf and she played on the playground 15 times and never had to take a nap. Fantastic indeed!

  • Melissa Camara Wilkins

    LOVE this. That is all.

  • ayala

    such a blessing to be loved that way!

  • Jade @ Tasting Grace

    Oh what a beautiful post! There's such honesty here. Thank you for sharing with us, even the things that feel raw. It's lovely.

  • Alita

    It does feel like an earthquake sometimes, eh? I like how you described that feeling like "understanding your mother." when that finally happens you know that you've evolved. This was a fantastic read, and a excellent way to talk about the first day of preschool. Loved it!


  • TKW

    Oh, her little face in that last photo! Crack.

  • Anonymous

    What a beautiful post. When my daughter was born (I mean I still do that sometimes) I didn't need anything to watch on tv or any book to read. I would sit next to her, or somewhere where I could clearly see her and I would watch her... and my heart melted. I would watch her trying to roll over for an hour and I would laugh, and I would cry, or both. I couldn't belive how much feelings I have towards that precious girl...
    You are a one lucky and very loving gal.
    Hugs from my corner!

  • Kelly Miller

    Yes - they are amazing little creatures, aren't they? I am still bowled over by mine as they work toward and achieve their milestones. Every day is a blessing!

  • amber_mtmc

    Dear God, Kelly! This was so lovely. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful, Kelly!

  • Kelly Miller

    Thanks Rachel!

  • Melissa Haak

    This is o beautiful, I he=ave felt that cracking over and over again.

    So beautiful Kelly! Thanks for linking up!

  • Hyacynth

    Oh, Kelly, this is so SO beautiful. I love the way he loves her and how his love for her carries a new love into your heart ... Good husbands who are good fathers are just what we women who've missed out on our own dads need to help us understand life in a new way.

  • suzannah | the smitten word

    dang, kelly. this is good stuff. i am undone, tears spilling everywhere!

  • Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri

    Beautifully written. One of my favorite posts by you.

  • Cathy Reaves

    I had a cracked moment on Friday when my 7yo and I rode our bikes to school. He was so proud and so happy that I did that with him. Crack!

  • DB

    So so sweet. I know the crack all too well :)

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