"He has definitely set a high bar for any other boys that come into her life one day," the young girl's mom said.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 17, 2021. It has since been updated.
Most little girls share an extra special bond with their dads growing up. As the most important man in their lives for as long as they can remember, their fathers become superheroes and Prince Charmings in their eyes. Many even harbor innocent dreams of marrying their dad someday and are often heartbroken when they find out it isn't possible. However, I doubt there's been anyone who's taken this news harder than young Bella Atkinson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The young girl made netizens go "awww..." last year when her mom shared a video of how devastated Bella was upon learning that her dad was already taken.
In an adorable but heart-rending video taken by Bella's mom, Jenna Atkinson, the 3-year-old is seen wailing after coming to the realization that there's only one "Daddy Matt." Speaking to Good Morning America about the circumstances leading to the youngster's sudden realization, Atkinson explained that since they hadn't been able to see their Wisconsin-based family much due to the pandemic, Bella had enjoyed looking at photos that hang on the family home's staircase. One day, while looking at the photos, she noticed one from her parent's wedding day seven years ago.
"She said 'You and Dad are married?' I told her, 'Yes, do you think you will get married one day too?' Then, after she thought about that for a while, she got a sad look on her face and realized her dream man -- Daddy Matt -- was already taken and the conversation in the video is what ensued," Atkinson revealed. The video begins with young Bella looking crestfallen and her tear-filled eyes threatening to overflow at any moment. "There's no two Matt Dads!" the young one says, her voice heavy with emotion. "[Only] one," she adds, before breaking down in tears.
"There's only one Matt Dad? And he's already married? So you can't marry him? Who are you going to marry then?" Atkinson empathetically asks her crying daughter. "Nobody!" Bella wails, adding: "Because there's no more [Daddy Matt]!" Atkinson revealed that Bella is very close to her dad. "He teaches her about the outdoors and how to be strong and fearless, but is also always just as happy to be her favorite customer at the 'beauty parlor' to get his nails painted or give her extra kisses in a 'cuddle nest' of blankets and pillows on the couch," she said.
"She runs to the door every time she hears him pull in from work and I'm not sure which one of them is more excited when he opens the door," Atkinson added. For now, Bella has agreed to be content with sharing her Daddy Matt with her mom. "As she gets older," said Atkinson, "it'll be an easier transition to accept she needs to find someone else to potentially marry," The mom-of-two is happy Bella's father has set a good example for the kind of person she should date in the future. "He has definitely set a high bar for any other boys that come into her life one day," she said.