We’re learning that just as important as regular “date nights” with each other, my wife and I should have times with our daughters as individuals. It gives us time to talk, and gives them an opportunity to have some one-on-one time with a parent – which is great for both of us. (Also, it’s more than a little fun to be able to wake THEM up in the morning….:P)
Recently, I took Addie out for a “Daddy Daughter Date” on the morning of her 5th birthday. I will confess, I wasn’t ready for what she shared with me. It was almost too much, and I gasped as the gravity of what she shared hit me full force. We were talking about random things, just enjoying being together and waiting for our food. When finally she said, “Daddy, I had a funny dream last night!”
“Really?” I smiled. “What was it about?” I was expecting a short story about a talking chipmunk, or her flying through the air and into the water as a Mer-Fairy (don’t get me started on Mer-Fairies). Boy, was I wrong.
“I don’t want to say it loud, I’ll come whisper it to you.” She said. I smiled back at her again. Such a cute five year old. She grabbed her cup of chocolate milk, and scooted out of the booth. Sliding up next to me on the bench, she cupped her hands over her mouth and leaned in close…and shared a “silly” dream where in it…she kissed a boy.
I wish I could go back in time, and change my immediate reaction. It was not a laugh. It probably wasn’t even a smile. It was a large eyed, slack-jawed, gasping for air…whoa-ment. (that’s short for a “whoa” moment) Did God and all of creation conspire to force me into a new level of parenting on the exact date my daughter turned 5 years old? How in the world….?
Quickly I realized she may be embarrassed (she was), and I put on a huge fake smile, hugging her close while fighting back any fatherly tears that might threaten the moment. “Boy, that was a silly dream, eh? You’re not a married grown up!! Haha!!” I said, probably through too much enthusiasm. She bought it. Her smile back confirmed that yes, that was a bit of silliness, and it’s nothing she’ll be pursuing anytime soon. Crisis averted.
Yesterday I took our middle child, Sophie, out for a “Daddy Daughter Date”. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous when it came time for conversation. What new comment that screamed “I’m growing up!” would she launch my way? Thankfully, it was all smiles and talking about playing with her friends. Whew. Though I did learn that the McDonalds with the “Hangerburger Chairs” also has a small video game screen for kids. That means we probably won’t be going there anytime soon for a date. Which is fine, because I found a small place close by that has fresh donuts, and opens at 6am. We’ll have “Daddy Daughter Donut Dates” from now on, hopefully. Unless a free birthday meal is in order. 🙂
Imagine the emotional roller coaster God must be on, watching you and I learn and grow!