Saturday, April 08, 2006

When A Dad Loves His Daughter


My wife C. and I have two daughters.

Our youngest kid, who just turned seven, is a tap dancer that wants to be just like Juni from the Spykids movies. She also loves to climb into the treehouse to eat her lunch when I bring out the stinky pickles and cheese. In fact, E. the Younger did that today with her edamame beans.

Our oldest kid is thirteen and she is stuck right smack in the middle of that place where she is both the little kid her little sister is and the young woman she will soon become fulltime.

And because of all that E. the Elder has recently forced me to think pretty hard about some of the larger issues that affect young women everywhere.

You know, all that stuff Heather Mallick likes to write about.

Anyway, if and when the time comes, I can only hope that I can do as much for my daughter as a guy named Doyle Niemann did for his daughter Cassie.

It's quite the story, and it just turned one year old:

By Matthew Mosk
Washington Post
Wednesday, April 13, 2005; Page A01

Cassi Niemann didn't know exactly what legislative district her father represented or the precise jargon to describe what he was doing in Annapolis last week.

But in the posting on her personal blog Saturday, the 25-year-old daughter of Maryland Del. Doyle L. Niemann (D-Prince George's) made clear that she knew he had done something important. Something controversial. And he had done it for her.

What Niemann did was speak out on the House floor in support of the Medical Decision Making Act, one of two gay rights bills passed in the final days of the Maryland General Assembly's 2005 session, which ended late Monday.

"I am casting this vote for my daughter, who I love dearly, who is 25 and is in a committed relationship with another woman," Niemann said. "Now, should we deny her the rights that we would expect, that I would expect for my wife and I? No. I'm casting my vote for her."

At the time I linked to Ms. Niemann's blog, almost in passing, over on the Hono(u)rable Roll on the lower left sidebar.

And, almost inexplicably she linked back.

Now, a year later, I sure hope this more fulsome explanation does her Dad's deed more justice.

And besides, could you imagine how much better off we would all be if more politicians, regardless whether they are fathers or not, did what their conscience told them?

Thanks Mr. Niemann.

Photo by C: The two E's and me last summer in British Columbia's high country.


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