Each of my daughters have their little things that are adorable.

My oldest Arwen has a quiet way of rolling with something ridiculous I’ve just said by poking a little fun at it. It’s our way of agreeing that it was ridiculous and funny, and should have been said by someone.

When I’m in work mode Arwen can hear me give direction about something and say two words that are the shortest path to (A) Getting it done, and (B) Getting it out of my brain.

“Got it!”.

I love those words!

Ailish is someone I can surprise a laugh out of that actually interrupts what she was going to say next. She’s very sharp too, but a softer personality and I feel a protective instinct around her maybe more than my other girls. She has a way of leaning into that and finding security and breathing room to laugh because she only has to be teenage girl around me and nothing else. It’s a kindness I can give her that she maybe can’t get anywhere else.

Katie corrects me.

My brain is a bit funny, which is my way of saying when I deal with something specific I then put it out of my head forever and hope I can find it in an email after. So facts and numbers get a little muddled.

If you hand me a piece of paper with words on it I’ll start hyperventilating and hand it to literally anyone else and say “Could you hold this for me?”. Paper and details stress me out.

Last week someone asked me a question about something I can’t remember and I said “I really don’t know… why don’t you ask Katie?”

If Kate reads something, she remembers it. If you tell her something, she remembers it. If you eat 17 Halloween bags of chips from her stash, she will know because she counted them all and made a list. Then she will come with her list and a broken heart to your mancave because someone “Stole my chips”, and you will have to tell her it was you and how it sure didn’t seem like it was that many bags (“Oh, but you counted them?!”) and you will replace them immediately if she promises not to tell anyone…

That is a disgraceful story and happened to a friend of mine whose name rhymes with Rory…

Does Katie bring it up from time to time? Yes she does. “Hey dad, remember when you ate all my chips?” Yes, yes I do.

Neela’s thing is Snuggles.

Erin and I will be watching TV in our room in the evening and there will be a little knock at the door. Then Neela’s tentative, tiny:


It’s never a statement but always a question. It is extremely hard to say no to.

Neela is the last of the girls and has taken negotiating to a perfected place. If her requests get turned down a couple of times she’ll walk away, turn around with a quizzical look, her head to the side, and ask “Just a little one?”

It works nearly every time.

It even works for “Snuggles?”

“Not tonight honey, it’s late”


“Just a little??”


She comes bouncing in knowing this would always have been the outcome, secure in herself and our relationship and makes me grateful for these little things in my girls…

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