I try to regulary schedule individual dates with each of my three kids. Therefore, I was extremely pleased when my daughter’s school held a Father/Daughter Dance. My daughter, Nee, was excited too, but she tried to pretend as if it were no big deal.
On the night of the dance, we both dressed in our finest outfits. She wore a lovely black and white dress and I wore a black suit with a red tie. I must admit that we made a great looking duo.
I took Nee to a Japanese restaurant for dinner before the dance. I knew she would object because she is not an adventurous eater and is wary of new experiences.
“Why can’t we just go to a normal place?” she protested.
“It is a normal place,” I said. “Besides, I know you’ll like it. Just give it a chance.”
She mumbled something under her breathe and folded her arms. Things weren’t going as planned. In fact, it was unfolding similarly to my first date when I was a teenager.
At the restaurant, Nee and I got a hibachi table all to ourselves. She relaxed a bit when I told her that the chef was going to do some tricks with the food and with fire. We ordered our meals and the chef went to work dazzling us with his culinary skill. He created a Mickey Mouse with the rice and made a choo-choo train. Nee was most impressed when he made an onion volcano erupt. As we ate, Nee reluctantly admitted that my restaurant choice was a good one and asked to return as soon as we could.
We arrived at the dance in time to get our portrait made and hit the dance floor. The gym was packed with fathers and daughters of all ages and hues. It was great to see so many dads spending time with their little girls. Because of budget issues, there was no DJ. Someone set up a small boombox in the corner and loaded it with a CD of popular tunes. It was hard to hear the music over all of the noise, but we managed to get our groove on.
Whoever made the mix CD, was obviously a child of the 80s because many of my favorite childhood songs made the rotation. When Footloose started playing, another dad and cut footloose. To the horror of our daughters, we did our best Kevin Bacon moves. Both girls screamed in unison, “Stop, Dad! You’re embarrassing me!” I managed to control myself and continued dancing with Nee in a more subdued manner. But of course, all good things must come to an end. As soon as Nee’s friends arrived, I was kicked to the curb. The other abandoned dads and I huddled up in the corner and watched our daughters dance their choreographed routine to Firework.
As the night came to a close, Nee and I danced together one more time. I think the song was “Little Girl’s Eyes.” I cherished the moment as a spun her around and watched her smile light up the room.
Question: How do you spend time with each of your children individually?