I recently discovered through my good friend, Mariana, that publishers have programs for bloggers. I love this idea. I quickly signed up with Thomas Nelson. My first book for review was a good one: She Still Calls Me Daddy: Building a New Relationship with Your Daughter After You Walk Her Down the Aisle by Robert Wolgemuth.
I’m not a dad and I don’t have a daughter of marriageable age — don’t I sound very Jane Austenish all of a sudden — but I really enjoyed this book.
The book was my constant companion during a beach vacation. For the first time in 13 years I was able to read a book on the beach for more than 2 seconds. The kid, the preteen, and the teen were all able to entertain themselves, so that I could read a book without interruption.
My children are far from getting married, but I still found this dad’s musings on marriage, being a good dad to a daughter, and building relationships with your newly married daughter to be thought provoking. My oldest is only 13, but I can imagine that when she is married I will need to reassess our relationship. Will I call her endlessly and bug her about this and that? Or will I let her have her space so that we can develop a more grownup rapport? Will I assume that she wants my advice? What about my husband? How will his relationship with his daughter change?
Wolgemuth deals extensively with his wife’s need for contact with their daughters. The book is written from the perspective of a dad, but Wolgemuth includes his wife’s dilemmas as well. How often should you phone your newly married daughter? How often should you visit? These are questions that all parents of married children will one day have to ask themselves.
Wolgemuth and his wife tread through the minefield of life after marriage. Wolgemuth’s wife buys a dining room set as a surprise for her daughter, but her generous gesture makes her son-in-law feel excluded. Her son-in-law had wanted to purchase the dining room set as a gift for his wife. Wolgemuth and wife were given a wakeup call to ask permission first before making a big purchase. It may seem ungenerous of Wolgemuth’s daughter and son-in-law, but boundaries are needed in all relationships.
Speaking of boundaries, I recall when my husband and I got wind that my in laws were contemplating moving to our development. We had to have a very frank talk with them. We thought that having the in laws 5 houses away was not a good idea. We knew that if the in laws wanted to move they would — we had no control over them and quite rightly so. I felt better letting my in laws know of my concerns. In the end our in laws did not move, but it got me thinking about setting limits.
Wolgemuth sprinkles his prose with corresponding Biblical quotes. Wolgemuth matches these Biblical verses to situations in his own life. He brings the Bible to life with this real world interpretation. I must admit to not knowing my Bible inside and out, so I enjoyed this part of the book.
Shaded boxes highlight a nugget of Dad-ly advice. These boxes serve to break up the text and let the reader know what is important. Each chapter ends with Remodelers Checklist, a recap of the salient points for dads to keep in mind.
Wolgemuth’s previous book, She Calls Me Daddy, focuses on raising a daughter. Dads of daughters must trade trucks and cars for dolls and tea sets. Wolgemuth helps dads make this transition. These two books are a kind of What to Expect the First Year for the older crowd. A simple chapter-by-chapter guide to raising a daughter in to a grown woman
Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing this book for my review.