I saw an old friend recently and asked about his little girl.

He immediately turned to mush.dad22

The transformation advanced like this: His head tilted. He smiled. His body softened as if he’d been microwaved five seconds. In a final gesture, he rapped on his heart…one, two, three times. He never did speak, however.

That’s because he didn’t have to.

I know it sounds sappy, but the relationship between daddies and daughters turns me into putty, too. In fact, if you ever see me driving down the road crying, I’m probably listening to some country tearjerker like “Butterfly Kisses,” “I Loved Her First,” or Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl.”

Any lyrics that remind me of my girls as babies—then fast-forward my imagination to their wedding days, where they’re waiting to be given away—pull my heartstrings every time.