March 6, 2009
Q: Dear Mr. Man,
I like to do special “Daddy/Daughter Dates” with my little girl. Can you share something special that you and your daughter do?
A: There are so many things that I enjoy doing with my little girl. Bae is an avid sports fan (moreso than the boy when it comes to watching), so we enjoy hanging out and watching our local sports teams together. With college sports we enjoy talking trash to each other. I support the Texas A&M Aggies, she roots for the Texas Longhorns (I don’t know where I went wrong on that one). She likes it when I take her shopping (of course). She also loves going to Rocket City Fun Station and Joe’s Crab Shack. We love to cook together. She seasons the meat and I grill it (think of the “Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor” noise at this point). However, there is one event that we have done every year since she was six years old. The Daddy Daughter Dance.
For those of you that may not be familiar with this, many churches and private schools host this event which is designed to build upon the bonds of the father/daughter relationship. I, like most fathers I know, also use this event as another opportunity to teach our girls how they should be treated by when they start dating. Bae knows not to get in or out of the car unless the young man is standing on the other side of the door to open it (I forgot once and she sat in the car until I remembered). Communication is reinforced. She is to talk with respect and to be spoken to in the same way. She learned early on not to ever be coerced into doing something she doen’t want to do. As for the dance itself, there is hardly any dancing being done by us. She tells me that she is shy (I don’t see it at home). One maybe two dances at the end is all I normally get. As she gets older she is more concerned about being embarrassed in front of her friends. And that’s okay. Because for that special evening, it is just me and her. And I don’t know who loves it more.
She’s eleven now and I have to work harder now to find the common interests between us. I know I need to be more interested in Claire’s and The Limited Too and Hannah Montana than she needs to be interested in the things I like. At some point, she will become interested in boys and Adi and my lives will be turned upside down. Even so, when does begin to go out, I hope she will remember Daddy as her first date and the lessons learned.