Daddy’s girls. They had my husband wrapped around their little fingers the first time he saw them on the ultrasound. He is their first love and their first Valentine.
Our school holds the Father Daughter dance near Valentine’s Day each year. While my husband looks forward to his special evening with our daughters, I usually look forward to a peaceful Friday night at home alone. Except this year I was asked to help out at the dance by serving pizza and taking photos. I’m so glad I did, because it gave me an even greater appreciation of the event.
I saw the same unmistakable look of pride on the face of every dad there. The little girls were all dressed in their fanciest dresses, looking like princesses. You could tell that the tweens selected their own outfits, some fancy, some more casual, some awkwardly wearing heels at the start of the dance, and barefoot by the end. In the blink of an eye, these tweens will be the self-assured eighth graders attending their last Father Daughter dance.
Much like a middle school party, for most of the evening the girls ran around with their friends, while the dads congregated on the other side of the room. And like most lessons unnoticed at this age, one day these girls will look back and realize that these dances were an opportunity for their dad to show them how a man should respect and treat a lady.
Here are a few suggestions to make the Father Daughter dance even more memorable.
- Help your daughter select an outfit and shoes a few weeks in advance. One year we did not try on the dresses and shoes that my girls planned to wear until the week of the dance only to find that everything was too small, resulting in a crazy and expensive last-minute trip to the mall.
- Make sure dad also plans what he will wear. At our school, dads generally dress up in coats and ties. Whatever the dress code, make sure dad is ready.
- Consider ordering a corsage for your daughter and a boutonnière for dad. This special touch adds so much to their date.
- Ask your daughter how she wants to fix her hair and have a mini spa event before the dance. My girls like to crank up Taylor Swift, plug in the curling iron for one and the straightener for the other, and have fun getting ready. Give your daughter a manicure. All this adds to the fun and lends an air of excitement to the evening.
- Start a family tradition to mark the occasion. Ours is simple, we have a special “toast” before each dance. I take out crystal champagne glasses, tie pink and blue ribbon on the stems, put them on a tray with strawberries and chocolates, and fill the glasses with sprite and a cherry. My husband toasts his dates right before they leave for the evening.
- Make sure they are ready early enough to take lots of photos.
- If you have a son, plan something a special to do with him while dad and daughter are at the dance.
- Consider including a girl without a father in her life, or whose father can’t attend, as an honorary member of your family for the evening.
- Enjoy all the stories when they get home, these years pass so quickly!