“Watch your heart, Baby,” Daddy whispered to me as he tucked me in every night. “Always watch your heart.”
“I vill, Datty.” I promised.
It seemed to take forever, but finally I was seven and not a baby. “Protect your heart, Honey.” Daddy instructed. “Protect your heart above all else and wait for your one and only prince.”
“What if my prince doesn’t come?” I asked him seriously.
“Your prince will come, don’t you worry.”
Tick, tock. I was now 13. Dad didn’t tucked me in.
“Guard your heart, Amanda.” Dad would say when I said goodnight. “Set up a strong wall and don’t let anyone in unless they’ve proven themselves. Set up the guards to keep watch and make sure they know how to use their arrows and swords. Guard your heart, Amanda, like it’s the most precious thing in the world. Because it is.”
“I’m not a little kid, Dad!!” I would protest. “I don’t need the prince and princess story anymore.”
Fast forward more. I’m 15. Brandon asked me to go on a date and I accepted. His looks alone crumbled the walls around my heart. The night of the date, there’s an accident. Dad never came home. I came home with Brandon to see cars, people and tears.
That was the first night I didn’t hear Dad’s talk. So I told it to myself.
“Watch your heart. Always watch your heart. Protect your heart. Protect your heart above all else and wait for your one and only prince. Guard your heart. Set up a strong wall and don’t let anyone in until they’ve proven themselves. Set up the guards to keep watch and make sure they know how to use their arrows and swords. Guard your heart like it’s the most precious thing int the world. Because it is.”
I rebuilt my wall, tighter than ever. I waited for my one and only prince.
And then I found him. Or he found me. No. It was like God reached down and pushed us both together.
On our wedding day, I gave away my first kiss to my forever husband.
Thank you, Daddy. It was worth it.
Written for Thursday 360. Thank you, Whitney, for naming me Champion!! If any of you gets a writing urge, be sure to stop by. It’s a lot of fun.