Last Friday was the Daddy/Daughter Dance at the kids’ school. I was initially kind of against most of it because it seemed kind of like a big deal over nothing, so we really tried to make this as low-key as possible. She got a dress (sort of by accident, it was just a new spring dress that we happened to get the week of the dance completely by coincidence), Chris gave her a tiny wrist corsage, and then he took her to a restaurant of her choice.
She chose our neighborhood sports bar. I don’t think Chris has ever been prouder.
But aside from that fuss, it was a pretty insignificant event in our house. There was just something weird about getting hair done professionally or going out to dinner with a big group of friends that seemed a little too high-school-prom for Chris and me.
But then I walked into the school cafeteria to volunteer and I changed my mind completely.
Here’s what I never thought about with the Daddy/Daughter Dance thing: It is how the girls learn what to expect later. Chris mimicking the whole date process kind of weirds me out, if I’m honest, but it was pretty neat to see him with her, showing her what a dance was and how both the girls and the boys are supposed to act. She was a little overwhelmed with all the dark lighting and loud music, but I could see Chris leaning down and talking to her, pointing out little things around the room they could do.
Eventually, the two of them made their way out to the dance floor and my heart just melted. It was the first time Gracie has been to any kind of dance (she’s not old enough to remember the one wedding she’s been to), and it was so sweet that she got to experience that with Chris for the first time. And when the DJ played “My Girl…” and Chris sang to her – forgetaboutit. I was a pile of mush.
It seems appropriate to post these sweet, candy-filled pictures of the two of them on Valentine’s Day because I think my favorite part of Chris as a husband is seeing Chris as a father. He is so wonderfully thoughtful and patient. I constantly see him going outside his own comfort zone for the sake of both our kids, and I love that he gives so much of himself to them – whether it’s twirling Gracie on the dance floor or throwing baseballs with Bean on the ball field. He’s the kind of hands-on father that you just can’t force. It comes naturally to him because he enjoys his children. And, consequently, our kids are better people because he is their dad and he is a better person because they are his kids.
So, on this Valentine’s Day, when people all over are professing their romantic, devoted love for each other, let me just say to my sweet husband…
I love you for so many reasons, but mostly because you make my life better than I ever could have imagined. You’ve given me a family we adore, a home we love, and, most importantly, your love and friendship as my constant companions. I don’t know how anyone could be luckier than me, except maybe our kids. Happy Valentine’s Day, Pookey.