It has been shown that the father-daughter relationship often begins to diminish after treatment for a variety of reasons. At New Haven, we are committed to providing unique and meaningful experiences for our families to not only help improve the relationship between fathers and daughters but truly build a strong foundation. Our Annual Daddy-Daughter trip offers this special kind of experience to our families and we were thrilled to explore the Alaska wilderness this past June!
Fathers and daughters enjoyed time designated to each other as we hiked through winding paths, explored rivers and lakes, the ocean and mountains of the Kenai Peninsula. The wilderness constantly offered us views of its incredible beauty; viewings of bald eagles, salmon, trout, mountain sheep, whales, orcas, calving glaciers, moose and much more were common. There was plenty of laughter and also quiet, tender moments of connection.
It was touching to watch the girls and their fathers naturally gravitate toward each other, intuitively knowing what they each needed and wanted during this special time together. Cheering each other on as we went flying fishing for trout on the Russian River, waiting patiently for each other as we climbed difficult trails and sat side-by-side as we forged through rapids while rafting down the Kenai River.
One of the sweetest experiences happened at the close of our trip, while we sat around a campfire overlooking the Kenai River, we talked about what we felt we had gained by spending this time with one another. I was personally impacted as I witnessed the example of the power of an invitation. All of these fathers took time out of their busy schedules to invite their daughters to engage with them in this special moment in time, not knowing how their daughters would receive it. It’s an impactful and special thing when loved ones press pause to take a moment to be present in their relationships. I have no doubt that this invitation made a lasting impression on these students and that it’s another step in the right direction in healing families.
As I have returned back home, this concept of invitations within relationships has been lingering. That gestures to invite others to be present within our relationships, big or small, are what build and help maintain happy, healthy relationships in our daily lives. How are you communicating or offering these types of invitations in your life with family, friends, co-workers, etc.? How are you showing others that your relationship with them is important to you?