I was on the road all day yesterday. Drove 200 miles one way. It was date night. She was waiting on me. I had to be there.
“On time!” she said.
My wife knew about it. She gave me the OK. I don’t get many kitchen passes, but this one was important. Special.
She was beautiful. Radiant. As pretty as ever.
She held my hand when we left the beauty shop. They fixed her hair, helped her get dressed. She loves going to the beauty shop, but then again, don’t all young ladies.
She wore a corsage on her wrist. It’s worth more than a sack of diamonds to her.
Smiled as big as Texas when her Dad took our picture.
We raised three boys. I didn’t have a clue about Daddy-Daughter Date Nights. A time for bonding, they said.
The boys played soccer, baseball, football, church basketball. They were in Boy Scouts and Four-H. I’ve contributed, I’ve given.
I’ve bought enough boxes of candy, rolls of garbage bags, and fried catfish dinner plates to fill a shipping container. We went hunting and fishing together.
We shared a hell of a lot of bad chili dogs, cold hamburgers, stale chips and watered down Cokes.
I worked hard to be a part of their lives, to bond.
But last year was my first Daddy-Daughter Dance. Last night was my second. If I live, next year will be my third.
These moments won’t last forever, I know.
Bonding with daughters is different.
Last year was the first time to take a three year old out on a real date. Last year was the first time to hold her and dance with her and see the twinkle in her eyes. Last year I watched her watch the older girls, learning what it is that girls learn.
For a year, I’ve looked forward to last night like a four year old looks forward to Christmas.
Last night she was dancing. She felt the music. OH my goodness did she laugh and have a good time.
Last night, she threw back her hair, then kicked off her shoes. She put them in the corner with a hundred other pair. Then she came running back.
“Grandpa, come dance with me!”
I watched a hundred other Dads in the room, dancing with their daughters, laughing, holding hands, telling them how much they were loved, all without saying a single word.
I watched the businessmen who left cell phones in the car, who left work behind a locked door someplace else. They put it all away to dote over their princesses.
I watched a Marine Gunnery Sergeant, splendid in his dress blue uniform, escort his princess daughter to the dance floor, twirl her around and make her feel like she was the most important person in his world.
Me, I’d drive 200 miles again, even if I had a broke leg, to spend two hours making my grand-daughter feel like she was the most special person on earth.
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