Father Keenan Watkins is getting lots of love on social media after a photo of him carting his daughter’s doll to a Goodwill store has gone viral. Shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page, the photo shows a bearded, tattooed Watkins in a shirt labeled “Punisher,” gazing fondly at a half-naked baby doll. Thankfully, he was at the store to find her some clothes.
“To the people who find me weird, that’s fine. I just made my daughter happy. Nothing more, and nothing less,” Watkins wrote.
The woman who submitted the photo to Love What Matters, Sadie Jessica Marie Collins, shared the following along with the Facebook post: “When I asked him about it he told me it was his daughter’s baby doll named Davey and that she wanted him to have Clothes and socks so he got in his car, and drove here and bought Davey two onesies and then went to Walmart and bought him some socks as well. I couldn’t believe how well he treated his daughter’s baby doll. It was incredible. I can only imagine how well his daughter is cared for if he’s willing to care for her toys this well. I just think amazing parenting like this deserves recognition.”
She continued, “This man sucked up all of his pride and went out of his way to clothing shop for a baby doll just to make his little girl happy and if that’s not love I don’t know what is.”
Indeed, commenters are piling on to congratulate the man for treating his daughter so well. “No matter how tough we are or how manly we look, our little girls are our world,” wrote Ralph Cimmino. “You don’t have to suck up your pride to do something for your children, if your children ARE your pride,” Nicholas Christopher Michael Ballou agreed.
Watkins received word that Collins’s post had gotten a lot of attention and responded with a Love What Matters post of his own.
“Davey and I go in, I grab a cart, strap him in (Daddy promised) and begin looking around, completely lost. I approach a young woman who appears to work there. She is smiling, going about her duties, looking like maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t bite my head off if I were to ask my dumb question,” he wrote. “‘Miss, where are your clothes for little babies?’ Still smiling, but possibly a bit confused as she just saw the 250 pound, 6’2″ tattooed man wearing a shirt that says ‘Punisher’ who has what is clearly a doll strapped into his cart. She kindly directs me to the back wall, where the newborn clothes are, doing her job without pause.”
He concluded, “I’m just a Daddy that wants his kids to truly understand that I love them. I want them to be happy, and would gladly take on a potentially embarrassing situation, in order to keep my promise to them. Father of the year? Hardly. Father? You bet.”
Reactions again have been positive. JoAnne Eure wrote, “Your daughter is learning that no matter how many men she will meet, her Daddy will always be the one who will love her and protect her and be the proudest of her. This makes you a superhero!” Heather Santee added, “I wish there were more father’s like you and my husband in this world!! The world would definitely be a more loving and peaceful world.” Another dad, James Brooks, wrote, “What an absolute legend you are!! Keeping a kid’s promise no matter how much people may poke fun at you, utter respect.”
While everyone can agree that there’s something incredibly sweet about a parent treating their daughter’s doll like a real baby, it’s also notable that this father is getting credit for the simple act of being a good dad. Let’s be honest: Would a photo of a mother shopping for her daughter’s doll have drawn attention in the form of over 45,000 Facebook likes? Parents of all kinds go the extra mile for their children every day, and we tip our hat to every single one of them — not just the ones that surprise us.
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