What I Hope They Remember
It was around 11 years ago when we first heard about the Father Daughter Dance. Chris, my wonderful husband, decided to take our daughters, Alyssa and Brooke, to attend what would become one of the most special events of the year for our family.
The Father Daughter Dance takes place at Grace Point Church, which is now our home church. I look back at this time and I’m thankful for how fantastic of a dad he was, is, for jumping in with both feet on this.
Anyways, back then, our oldest daughter was in the “That’s sooooo not cool” phase; so she declined attending. Brooke, daughter #2, was all over it, however! She does NOT have to be asked twice if she’s cool with having an evening devoted to her. Or to be treated like the princess that she is; and that’s basically what this night is.
It’s symbolic of the celebration of these young ladies, born of our High King, and embracing their inheritance as His daughters – princesses.
Going back to the evening of the dance all those years ago: Chris and I had planned ahead that he would arrive home from work, but instead of coming in, he’d knock, and I’d have Brooke open it. Let me just say..I don’t think you can grasp the stinkin preciousness of that smile plastered on her face, as she squealed “Daddy!” The excitement was radiating off of her. Chris, wearing a suit – which he’d worn to work that day so he’d be ready to go – presented Brooke this lovely wrist corsage (flutter flutter). My mom and I had already assisted Brooke in getting “beautified”, and I let her use teensy bits of makeup because – well, it WAS a special night, after all! Of course, she was wearing a lovely dress as well and I could tell..she felt like a princess. Check!
A nice dinner was made for them to eat together before leaving on the “date” – in later years, dinner would turn into going out to eat somewhere. When dinner was finished, off into the night they went, ready to have the time of their life.
On the backend of the event, Grace Point has the works all set up. (Volunteers are AMAZING for these events!) I mean, balloons are coming out the ying yang, in every nook and cranny, because after all – you’ve got to have a balloon drop. The younger girls end up taking most of the balloons home.
Tables are lined up with baked goodies, candy and punch. Everyone knows that you’re going to work up some dehydration while doing all that dancing!
Photo rooms are created for capturing memories of the daddies with their girl(s). The church actually sends these pics to the guests (no extra charge, y’all) a couple of weeks later.
At the end, a keepsake is handed out to each attendee. We still have most of the magnets or cups, or whatever it was for that year, around the house. The event name, the church and the date are printed on whatever it is they give out.
It’s really quite magical, the way that it all comes together!
I think about what an amazing opportunity something like this is for these fathers: a chance for them to set the stage, to establish expectations in these girls’ minds, as to how they should assume they’re to be treated. Because when the time comes that they’re asked on a first date, they’ll have a better understanding if the way they’re being treated is lining up.
The Father Daughter Dance makes my heart burst with love every year!
The advertising usually starts showing up on the screens and flyers at church in the beginning of the year. The dance typically falls the weekend before Valentine’s Day – that epic day of showing our love to the ones we value most in our lives.
Church members are encouraged for weeks prior to the event to start thinking of who we’re going to invite. What men do we know through work, our extended family and in the neighborhoods we live in? What men have daughters that have a need to be shown the extent their worth?
A lot of times the guests that come to events like these, whether through an invite or from seeing the street sign at the entrance of the church, aren’t regular churchgoers or have never been to a church service. And the setting alone on this night – all the dads’ dancing and being silly, just to get a few giggles out of their daughters’; both young and old(er) ladies, with their fathers, smiling from ear to ear, forgetting all the worries and burdens that accompany day-to-day life, even if only for a couple of hours – THIS setting, it could minister to the most skeptical heart.
As I mentioned earlier, when it initially became “a thing” in our home, our oldest beauty, opted out. After 3 to 4 years of Brooke and Chris going, Alyssa finally decided to join.
I try to remember that for when someone turns the invitation to join down. Who knows? If they see the anticipation leading up to this night, even if it takes a couple of years, that same person who initially declined may surprise us & accept.
So here we are now: Miss J. Rose, daughter #3, participant to the dance since before she was one year old. She can hardly contain herself when January rolls around. (And I’m always reminded of an 8 year old Brooke..RADIATING joy, y’all.)
Jocelynn’s astutely aware when “the ball” is only a few weeks away. By the time New Years Day comes I’m sure to be asked (daily; even multiple times throughout the day) “Are you almost ready to be my fairy godmother??” And I am, of course. Bippity boppity boo!
I pray, pray, pray.. that these girls of ours – be it now or down the road – know how selfless Chris was. Their daddy made himself completely available to them on this night! He probably always will. From getting off work early, to searching for the resources to afford tickets and corsages at times. He’d have readily sacrificed lunches out for a week or two, so that he could get a nice dinner with them beforehand.
This man is far from perfect. Aren’t we all? He’s wrestled through his own seasons – struggling with faith, doubts in careers, fearful and uncertain of what the future holds – but on this night, he became the Prince Charming that all little girls deserve and the husband that this Mom treasures.