Its been a long day and there's still work to doShe's pulling at me saying, "Dad, I need you
There's a ball at the castle and I've been invited
And I need you to practice my dancing, oh please, daddy, please"
This song, Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman, punctuated the Princess Ball my daughter and I attended last month. Coincidentally, these lyrics of the song almost perfectly describe the theme of the evening…
The Whatever Girls is an organization begun by a friend of mine and designed to provide intentional guidelines for parents and daughters about making good choices. The world has become so overloaded with options for expression and desire, that the question becomes one of discernment.
I think it is most important to talk to children, even--and especially--about the uncomfortable stuff. If you can talk, without judging, and give them your opinion without dismissing theirs, it can go a long way toward creating a situation where they will make the right choice. Often, they listen, and if they feel their thoughts are important (i.e. you didn't just tell them they were wrong, or bad,) they may make the decision you wanted them to; because you valued them, they will value you.
How do we know what is the right choice, or even the best choice? The Whatever Girls provides a forum for helping guide the decision making process. And helping parents and their children--a companion forum for boys is being discussed--talk about what might be important to both.
I hope you check it out, whether you’re a parent or not (you might be the cool aunt or uncle one day.)
The Princess Ball was a dance designed to allow dads and their daughters to share a night out together. For me and my daughter, it provided for bonding as well as time to share some proper date etiquette (she was rather annoyed with me because I didn't open her door quickly enough. Later, she waited very primly for me to pull out her seat; I hope she doesn't settle for any less when she truly starts to date.)
We talked, we laughed, we took goofy pictures, and even danced (I think my wife was a little jealous.) At the end of the evening, they played the song above and we slow danced, both of us bawling our eyes out. It was incredible, and I don’t think she will forget it.
I know I will never forget it; it was practice for that day when I will have to let her go. I know it won’t ever be easy to let her grow up, but I hope that we’ll never grow apart. And no matter how grown up she gets, I will never grow tired of hearing: “Dad, I need you…”