I love our elementary school. I’m so glad that I do because my family moved to this town a couple days before school began. Talk about crazy train! My children are rock stars at transitioning, though, and they jumped right into a brand new chapter. I was beside myself with nerves and on my knees praying that they would have courage as they walked the halls of what was a bigger school than what they were used to in our previous town.
Our new school is a very active school. There are a plethora of events throughout the year: a Fall Festival, a 5K Run, theatrical plays, and Grandparent’s Day, to name a few. There is one event, however, that has become my favorite…and the year isn’t even over! I love that there is a Daddy/Daughter Dance. The school sees the importance of parental involvement and working with parents on their relationships with children once they go home after a day of learning. They understand that learning, development, and growth has to happen in the home as well as in the classroom.
My nine-year-old daughter had never been to this kind of a dance before, so she was very excited. Her neighbors and best friends down our street mentioned how they all gather and do hair and a little makeup before the event. My mom heart almost burst at the thought of her preparing for the dance with her friends. I would not attend the dance, but I was all about some dress shopping.
It wasn’t the gaggle of girls hanging out in a master bathroom getting their hair done and applying blush that made me the happiest, though. It was the idea of my daughter going to a dance with her dad.
Having a male role model in her life who loves and respects her as a girl is so important.
My pastor has been doing a sermon series about respecting people in the workplace, and a recent talk was about women in the workplace. As you can imagine, the idea of sexual harassment and the #metoo movement came up in his talk. While I have never had a #metoo moment in my life, shortly after a celebrity tweeted about it in October 2017, over half a million women tweeted #metoo. This is really sad. Something else our pastor said that day hit me hard. He mentioned that somebody on Twitter declared that women don’t need men. This also made me sad.
Girls need male role models and events to attend that enforce the idea that there are good men out there who know how to love and respect women. A recent post from Focus on the Family said it best: “A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men.”
It starts young, and it begins in the home.
Not only does this daddy and daughter event let my daughter know that she is valuable, worth more than gold, and beautiful to the most important man in her life right now, but it also sends a message to my sons.
They saw my husband and daughter leave that evening for the dance. My two sons heard the excitement and anticipation in our voices in the weeks leading up to the event, so they knew that it was special. This reinforces the idea that women are to be respected and loved. I want them to bring flowers, open doors, and offer a jacket if needed to their future girlfriends and wives. Chivalry should not ever die.
I’ll never forget a special dance with my dad. It wasn’t at a school. It was at my wedding. My dad and I danced to Celine Dion’s popular hit, “Because You Loved Me.” The song was meant to be romantic and was on the soundtrack to a late 90’s movie, Up Close and Personal. The lyrics, however, meant more to me about a father and daughter relationship:
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me
I truly believe that I am who I am today because of my parents. My dad loved me and showed me how a woman should be treated. I’ll never forget those times when he came home with flowers or danced with my mom in the laundry room, dipped her, and kissed her goodbye before she headed to the hospital for third shift. He was engaged in our lives, becoming Mr. Mom so that my mother could go to work. The sacrifices they made for each other never went unnoticed, and as a parent, I now have a deeper understanding of what it means to be fully involved in your children’s lives. It made all the difference for me and my brothers.
My husband is doing much the same, and I know that my own children are watching. My daughter watches how he treats me and loves me with everything he has because our marriage is important.
So yes, the daddy and daughter dance has been my favorite school event. Maybe next year I’ll work behind the punch bowl to get a glimpse.