February 15, 2011

Daddy-Daughter Date

“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.

Daddy & Swee'Pea



  1. My daughter is 21. For Christmas she gave my husband a framed photo of the two of them at their first Daddy/Daughter dance when she was five. He cried. The memories are precious - hold them close to your heart! xo

    Comment by Twenty Four At Heart — February 15, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  2. That first comment is great. No matter what happens in the future, both of you will remember this night forever.

    Comment by BloggerFather — February 15, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  3. Darling, simply darling! I’m sure it’s something she’ll NEVER forget. That first comment though, well, that just brought tears to my eyes. Hugs & Blessings!

    Comment by Dalia — February 15, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

  4. This post and the first comment brought tears to my eyes. I’ll never forget my first Father/Daughter dance at church when I was a little girl. Swee’Pea will never forget this dance and how amazing her father is.

    Comment by Breanne — February 15, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  5. How completely awesome! I, unfortunately, let my wife talk me out of a Valentine’s Day Daddy Daughter dance last weekend. Still went out with just the girl-child and had a lot of fun, but now I’m jealous!

    So glad you got to dance with your girlie!

    Comment by RobMonroe — February 16, 2011 @ 4:55 am

  6. LOVE this post, but especially love the photos!
    She looks so beautiful, and my, how lucky she is to have such a handsome daddy!
    I know this will be a special memory for the two of you - so glad you could share that with your daughter!

    Comment by Krys72599 — February 16, 2011 @ 5:28 am

  7. I always love to hear about the special things you do for your kiddos. Reading about your date with Swee’Pea reminds me of the Father-Daughter Dances with the scouts when I was a kiddo. Whenever you have a bad day, know that you’re definitely doing right with your kids.

    Comment by Franny — February 16, 2011 @ 6:33 am

  8. So sweet. I’m glad that you both had a wonderful time.

    What? Oh … I just have something in my eye. … WHAT? *sniff*

    Comment by Allanna — February 16, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  9. SO adorable! I know that my brother and brother-in-law love taking their girls to the father-daughter dances that they have on base every year. You’re building such sweet memories.

    And if you feel like crying, try this one… it seems to fit you right now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrWMBC6yoME

    Comment by Deanna — February 16, 2011 @ 9:02 am

  10. Dammit. Put up a warning before this kind of thing!

    We missed the Y’s Daddy/Daughter dance this year, but I think next year will be just as special. My daughter is six, and isn’t usually about the fancy dresses, but I think she’d really enjoy the special time with Daddy. I’ll take my son to dinner somewhere too. :) No saying us Mommy’s and boys can’t have some fun.

    You are a wonderful father, thank you for sharing these stories, even if you do forget to tell me to get the tissues.


    Comment by Val — February 16, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  11. Way to go, dude. Even if she’s too young to remember the details of your date, the impression you left on her will remain.

    Comment by Nancy [Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas] — February 16, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  12. Oh goodness, that’s adorable. Even though I am still a Daddy’s girl, we never did anything like that together. I’m sure it’s something she won;t forget. I know I wouldn’t have.

    Comment by Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy — February 25, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

  13. What a lovely article. My daughter is a bit older. Here’s what happened when she went on her first *real* date: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-first-date/


    Comment by Tom Matlack — February 28, 2011 @ 8:17 am

  14. You two are adorable.

    Comment by Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah — March 2, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

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