Last Saturday I was at the Doughnut House on Government Way, eating a doughnut and drinking chocolate milk that had been cut with some white milk (because chocolate milk straight out of the carton makes me flop on the floor in a chocolate induced fit). My wife shakes her head sadly at me for not being able to handle what we call “girl chocolate milk”; my “watered down” version is euphemistically referred to as “boy chocolate milk”. However, I digress; back to my doughnut.
As I took my last bite of sweetened, fried dough I noticed a little girl strut through the door with her dad. I very purposely use the word “strut” because I don’t know of another word that could describe the vivacity and panache she exuded with each little step. She was blonde haired and blue eyed, about two years old. She was wearing pink princess shoes and little sunglasses that very coolly covered those pretty blue eyes. In fourteen or fifteen years, she will only be missing the convertible with the top down to stop half the clocks in Kootenai County. She only stood two foot nothing but I couldn’t help but wonder how God managed to stuff six feet worth of attitude in someone only two feet tall.
Here is a young lady that knew what she wanted, and while polite, very matter-of-factly told her Dad what she wanted. After getting her doughnut and milk, she took her Dad to an empty table, climbed in to a chair and talked to her Dad about all kinds of things. I couldn’t get all of what she said, largely because my wife and daughters kept telling me and each other how cute she was. “Of course she is cute”, was all I could think, the angels themselves must have fought over who got to deliver her to her parents.
I do not know where Mom was; hopefully, she was at home enjoying a little uninterrupted sleep. The important part was that dad and daughter were having a fine time. I am sure she is too young to remember the day, but I am praying her Dad won’t forget it. If he reads this, “Dad keep it up”; for the rest of us with kids, we should try at least once a month to have a “date” with our kids. Just one of us and one of them, doing dang near anything, where we can open our ears and let them tell us what they need to talk about; then we gently pass on whatever bits of wisdom we have acquired through a life of trial and error.
I am passing this along because my own daughters remind me all the time of past “Daddy-Daughter dates” and let me know when it’s been too long since the last one. They are old enough now that I can already see that they will cherish those times far into adulthood. Moms, I don’t mean to leave you out, dates with your children are just as important and fulfilling to each of you.
A last bit of advice to the Dad we saw last Saturday, “I hope you have a bottle of that hair dye for men and clean your shotgun often; she is going to be a heartbreaker and you are going to need both!”
Tagline: Mark Altman is a speaker and leadership consultant with the Altman Leadership Center. Mark has completed graduate work in Marriage and Family Counseling and is working on a PhD in Leadership studies at Gonzaga University. He is happy to speak or provide a workshop for your organization and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.