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Glen Allen, VA 23060

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Garth Callaghan

Napkin Notes Dad

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Six Words I Need to Say to Emma

WGarth Callaghan

I was introduced to Rachel Macy Stafford, the Hands Free Mama, through a blog post, "Six Words You Should Say Today" and developed a deep appreciation for her parenting style. I also immediately started using her phrase, "I love to watch you play" whenever I could. Those words make a difference in my life, and I hope they make a difference for Emma, too.

I added a new phrase to my tool bag this week. Coincidentally, there are six words in this new phrase. I will say this phrase over and over.

Emma was at a sleepover with one of her softball teams. I was excited for her. This team is made up of incredibly talented girls who are also the best sports in the league. Everyone is lifted higher during their games, even the spectators.

We were warned that the house had a few animals, and Emma can have reactions from time to time. It could be a long night. As luck would have it, Emma was having some trouble early in the evening, and we collectively decided that it would be a better idea for Emma to come home.

I left our house at 10 PM to go fetch her. I was tired. It had been a long day and I am usually asleep by 10 PM on a normal day. Honestly, my meds are kicking my butt, and rest is important, but not as important as my daughter. I drove the 25 minutes, in the dark, without a single thought of my fatigue. I was happy to make this trip.

Emma hopped into my truck as I asked if she was ok.  She replied, "I'd never make it the whole night. Thank you for coming to get me."

I looked her in the eye and simply said, "I will always come get you." She kind of nodded her head, and I repeated it. "I will always come get you." She thought that I believed she didn't hear me, and she acknowledged my statement.  I knew she heard me, but I needed her to listen to me.

"I will always come get you."

I held her hand for a moment and let her internalize what I meant. She slowly nodded as she understood. She smiled.

I then listed some of the reasons why I might need to come get her: a flat tire, a bad date, homesickness, or even a friend that had too much to drink and shouldn't get behind the wheel ...

"I will always come get you."

I am your dad, and I will be there. Call me, no questions asked, at least until your home safely. I will never say "no."