When the flier came through for the Father Daughter Dance at our child’s school, I thought, oh no, here’s another expensive scholastic endeavor that’s one more reason to dig into my savings. But I could tell by my daughter’s face that it meant a lot to her, so I called her father and told him that if he agreed, he better not back out this time. In today’s hectic global society youngsters are constantly seeking examples of persons whom they seek to model their behavior and appearance after. Most youngsters find that example in their dad. And frequently those examples they are drawn to can fill us with fear and despair and anger if the adult doesn’t keep his word. My daughter had been hurt by her father’s forgetfulness more than once. But I was giving him another chance.
I even suggested he use a Groupon to buy a set of clothes for the occasion. He checked out the site and found he really like the way they do business. But he still wouldn’t commit to showing up. One way adults can assure that their children have a good sense of identity and self is by providing them with examples from their own home life. As her mother, I wanted to be sure her father was dressed to look his best and suggested he shop online from Buckle, the longtime source of quality menswear. From suits to shoes, shirts, ties and accessories, I knew he would find things to make him look his best.
The anticipation rose as the day drew nearer. I was a little pissed off that he couldn’t show up a few days early to go through a few steps with her just to boost her confidence. She’ll be alright, he snarled into the phone when I called to discuss my concerns. And my heart sank when he didn’t show up on time the night of the dance. We had agreed to meet at the gymnasium to save time, and while I stood there, waiting impatiently, nearly ready to turn and go back home, he was laughing at me from the corner of the room. He looked so different all dressed up that I couldn’t believe my eyes. Gone were the Z Z Top like beard and shaggy hair. In its place was the kind face that had melted my heart years ago.
There is nothing more touching than seeing a well-dressed father take his daughter out on the floor for her first dance. For a moment, I imaged it was me, in the arms of my father. And we relished every minute of the unforgettable night.