I took my oldest out for a daddy-daughter date yesterday to celebrate her new start as a second grader @ Mary Lin Elementary. I cannot believe that she’s gotten this old this fast. She is a small little woman and that scares the shit out of me (and she asks woman-sized questions now too).
I’ve been doing these dates with her ever since she could generally sit by herself and eat “nicely” without my spoon-feeding her the meal. Our very first date was at the prestigious House ‘o’ Waffles (i.e. Waffle House… classy, I know…) when she was about 2 and a half-years old and for the last 5+ years I’ve been doing this as best as I can as often as I can.
I recorded one of those first dates with her and we create “Appa & Roenne” days where we’d go have bagels @ Eistein’s Bagels, head to the local mall for some pretzels, or even Starbucks (these were good since I could get something yummy too).
To see these images and videos is astonishing:
To think that I recorded these on my brand-spankin’ new iPhone 3G… wow, was that forever ago. As I mentioned before, one of the first ever dates was at Waffle House, pictured above as she’s toying around with a small video recording device that was all the rage at the time (smart phones have since destroyed that market entirely).
And now, the images are a bit different although the experience is still very-much the same.
My intention and motive was simple: I believed that if I could spend more time with my girl(s) that it would pay off big time throughout the course of our growing relationship. I wanted her to see that I loved her and that I wanted to spend dedicated time in an expression of that love. My hope is that by opening this line of explicit communication that it would persist even into her crazy adolescent years, high school, college, and beyond.
Secondly, I also wanted to model what it meant for a “real” man to take her out on a date. No texting, no checking email, and if there is any use of my phone it’s to take pictures. I wanted to paint for my girls a picture of what a gentleman would do in the context of a 1-on-1 date and that she would compare her experience with me and her would be suitors. I would love for her to be thinking in those contexts “Hey, my dad treats me like this but this guy isn’t…! He’s a loser and not worth my time.”
This might be a stretch but I believe it’s worth trying for.
I think dads need to do a better job of loving on their daughters. I’m not the perfect model nor am I getting most things right (quite the opposite in fact). But I know what the model should be and I’m doing my best to hit high marks.