I have to say right up front, that I am a lucky father/man. I have two women in my life that are very important to me. My wife & My Daughter. You see, when I married my wife – I also gained a daughter. Instant family “Just add Water”.
Not all of this journey has been easy, or has it been mistake free on my behalf. As a Husband and Father, I have made loads of mistakes along the way. However, one constant with my wife and daughter is Daddy Daughter Dates.
In our religion, the young women of our church have Daddy Daughter Dates. This is where girls between 12-18 have a special dinner and they invite their fathers to the church for a dinner and some fun and activities. This is a time that girls, who may not receive their full attention from their fathers due to heavy work schedules, competing interests or what ever can gain their father’s full and undivided attention for at least a few hours.
My Wife had this with her Father. She could always get him to get away from the store and the daily life grind and she could have him focus on her for just a couple of hours. So, when the church stopped having Daddy Daughter Dates (at least in our little section in Riverdale), it was something that My Daughter got ticked off about.
So, what did she do? She asked her Dad to take her on Daddy Daughter Dates. And, I have always made it a priority to take her, and just her on a date to ice cream, dinner. It is two or three hours where I can just listen to her talk, hear about her day, and in a way communicate on a different level than that in the house with all those competing interests, and pressures from the world.
This has helped my daughter and I navigate some pretty rough times in our relationship. High School mainly. I know, that’s just life with a teenager Brian. However, setting “Daddy Daughter Date Night” helped separate and wall off the world for me – and as a result I always hoped that it was building something in my daughter to know that she was special and loved.
During her Sophomore year at high school, no guy was asking Aleatha out to homecoming. So, I took her out to her favorite place – Zucas. Well, wouldn’t you know it all her friends were there as well. I was proud of her, it was just dinner – but she kept talking positive about her self, and what she was trying to aspire to as a young woman.
A couple years later, her Senior Year she asked me to be her Date to another Dance. This was beyond special. I again took her to Zuca’s, and then took her to the dance and we had our picture taken – no dancing, that would have been embarrassing for un-coordinated Dad. However, the time I had with my daughter again was awesome. If I remember right, we came home and had dessert with my wife (her Mom) and Connar (my Son).
Aleatha is married now, and she still want’s to have Daddy Daughter Dates.
Her Husband Cameron has been very supportive, and I am thrilled that she has found someone that will love her, accept her and talk to her. It warms my heart as a father, that she continues to work hard at all of her challenges in life: Lack of Money, New at a Job, Working towards a Great Marriage. With all of that, she asked me – “Dad, when are you going to ask me out on another Daddy daughter date?”
So, October 16th was another installment in Daddy Daughter Dates. We went to Famous Dave’s, and shared a Banana Cream Pie and we discussed the issues of the world. How they were important to my daughter, and I hope she felt special and loved. Because, I sure felt all those things because a 19 year old woman still needed her Daddy – and that my friends makes all the difference in the world.