“I wanna paint my nails, wear lip gloss and put my hair up in a bun, like this, and then have the longer hair hang down. I’m also gonna wear my high heels.”
Swee’Pea describes to me her ideas of how she wants to look as we discuss our first “date.” I have signed us up for the YMCA’s Daddy-Daughter Dance – the day before Valentine’s Day. Swee’Pea is clearly excited. And while it was very clear that she’d wear the pink and black dress that her Grandma sent her for Christmas, it was equally clear that Swee’Pea had a plan on how to look pretty.
As for me? I’d be donning my dark suit, white shirt, red and gold tie. We’d go on our “date” while Mommy and TheMonk also went on a dinner “date.”
As we drove to the dance, I couldn’t help but think how this type of moment will be gone in the blink of an eye. Someday, too soon for my taste, Swee’Pea won’t want to go to a dance with her Daddy. And as I look at her in my rear-view mirror, sitting in her booster seat with her wet curls and framing her beautiful face, I can’t help but breathe a sigh of sadness that my baby girl is growing up too fast.
As we arrive at the dance, she holds my hand and we enter the decorated gymnasium and find a nail painting place and a professional photographer. We patiently wait in line for nails (Swee’Pea chooses bright pink with purple glitter) and then photographs. We chat about the pretty dresses as the music starts. At first, I can see the uncertainty in her eyes as she surveys the dance floor as it becomes crowded as a song from the movie Notting Hill plays. I’m not sure if she’ll want to dance but I gently suggest we go out to the dance floor.
To my amazement, Swee’Pea agrees and, before I know it, we are busting a move on the dance floor and I can see the joy in Swee’Pea’s face as she leads me on the dance floor, forcing me to spin her around and turn around in our spot. She is clearly having a good time. And so am I.
But before I know it, Swee’Pea announces she’s tired and I take that as our cue to leave. As we head home I am once again overcome with the emotion of raising a little girl and I hope that one day, when she goes to a dance, that she expects that boy to treat her as well as her Daddy.
As we arrive home, I lean down and give her a hug and kiss her cheek and thank her for a wonderful evening. She hugs me back and then turns on the TV. Olivia is on.
And, just like that, we’re back to normal.