I remember thinking about the type of dad I would be and always hoped that I’d be a positive influence that didn’t inspire too many “daddy-issues” in my offspring. I can remember wanting to take my daughter out to a father-daughter something-or-other. I can even distinctly recall hearing about a father-daughter dance and being absolutely crushed by the sweetness of the mere idea.
Finally, this past Saturday evening I was able to take Matilda out on a Daddy-Daughter Date… at Chick-fil-A! I don’t know how often they do them, but every once and while, Chick-fil-A will offer a special little hour where a Dad can bring his little lady and enjoy a special meal.
First things first, I love Chick-fil-A! I eat there probably once a week, I’ve been known to go twice from time to time, so I was fully onboard. It was really quite simple, I traded a few emails with the store owner and Matilda and I were signed up for some quality time and some quality chicken.
On the night of, Matilda dressed up in full Princess Belle regalia, and I did my best to keep up with a yellow shirt and pink tie. To have my sweet girl so excited and so dressed up to just hang out with her goofy Dad just made my heart swell! Seeing the complete joy in her eyes as she gazed into mine while Em took photos was a beautiful treasure. I told her she looked lovely and then we were off.
We got to Chick-fil-A a bit early, so we just listened to music in the car while Matilda sang Alicia Keys and when our time arrived, we walked hand-in-hand through the front door and I was blown away at how much of a big deal this event was. The tables and chairs were covered with pristine white linens and dark pink bows, each table had a lovely matching flower arrangement and there was even a photographer there to capture the special moment.
Other dads were present as well, and there was quite a range; dads with newborns to dads with girls in high school. Everyone looked legitimately happy to be there – even the junior high girls – so I knew I was in good company.
We were led to our table-for-two, I ordered my usual (a spicy chicken sandwich, fries, and a Dr. Pepper) and Matilda ordered the six-count nuggets and a Sprite. Then we just sat and talked – well talked as much as you can to a 3-year old who is just overwhelmed with excitement!
Being influenced by the “Eat Mor Chikin” cow, she of course responded with “Cow!”
“What’s your favorite song?”
Then she began to sing “this girl is on FFFIIIIRRRRE!”
And then she took a few minutes to tell me this strange anecdote about how Mommy was simultaneously saying that the baby was funny, but that she wasn’t funny when it began dawn on me that her experience in life is still so fresh. She only has so much that she can talk about, but it is the whole world to her, and darn it, she is going to tell me ALL about it. The world is opening up so fast and so far and so wide for her that she is simply just trying to get it all out.
So I listened to her tell the story about Mommy and the baby and giggled alongside her when she was being funny and sincerely hoped that this moment we were experiencing together would be one she would never forget, and of course, one of many to come!
So, for any Dads out there, my simple advice is: Just Do it! As a man, I know that my mission is to love my wife well, knowing that the love I give will then overflow into the way Emily mothers. But, I realized I was missing the fact that I could love my little girls directly – and you know what, it was proven to me that they crave that affection as well. So again dads, as Michael Jordan would implore you, Just Do It!
Finally, for the Mom’s out there, I would have never known about this had Emily not told me about it! So, if you hear of something like this, just sign your man up. He will thank you. I can pretty much guarantee that your man will be into it (if not, please refer him to me, seriously) because not only will he get his special time, there’s also no pressure to plan a thing! Just throw on a tie, show up on time, and enjoy a night out with the other best girl in your life.
- Josh (Pardy MAN)
- Josh (Pardy MAN)