Bolaris: Thank goodness for little girls

John Bolaris
Metro columnist John Bolaris.

I’d like to wish to all the fathers a belated Happy Father’s Day.

My daughter is 9 years old and she is truly a gift from heaven. For you dads reading, tell me is there anything better in life than having your little girl by your side? I’m sure having a son feels just the same but I can only speak from a father with an extraordinary relationship with his little girl ReinaSofia.

My first memory was birth, OMG that was amazing. It was 5 p.m., Feb. 27, 2004. Now in the TV news business we’re in, that’s what we call sweeps (ratings period), and you usually need a death certificate (your own) to get excused from work. My news director at the time at CBS-TV in NY, by the grace of God, let me have the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts off. But if labor extended into the 11 p.m. newscast, they wanted my ass back in the anchor seat.

During delivery, I had a brainstorm. (Trust me, any time I have a brainstorm, I usually get in trouble). I decided to put on not the Weather Channel, but the Golf Channel. My reasoning for this logic was to help my love at the time get into a rhythm. You know, nice and slow pushes with the iron, then get out the big dog, the driver, and go for it! (Push real hard). To me, this unorthodox approach—  golf—worked as the delivery went as smooth as a Phil Mickelson follow through.

Now, on the other hand, the pediatrician and Tiffany McElroy, the mother of our child, thought differently. She kind of looked at me cross-eyed when I pointed to the Golf Channel and was trying to connect the two. The pure excitement of the birth and cutting the umbilical cord took away any penalty strokes I might have received. When I held my little girl for the very first time, I cried as it took my breath away.

And some of the things that will always make my heart melt—changing her diaper for the first time, you needed surgical skills the first few times doing this; the first time she was able to pull herself up in the crib and then turned around and smiled at me; that pure, sweet baby’s breath when they fall asleep in the nape of your neck; hearing daddy for the first time is a knee-buckler; walking your child to school for the first time; I can go on and on.

My first daddy-to-daughter serious talk (she was 7): “Daddy, I hear you’re a bachelor, you know, wifeless, and when I go to UCLA you will be all alone.” On that note I’ll see what I can do.

Thank you to my daughter for making all the negative melt away and for feeling a love like no other.

By the way, I did make the 11 p.m. newscast that night. Had to. It was sweeps.

Happy Father’s Day.


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