My greatest fear came true this past weekend- my 6-year-old went to her first dance with a boy. Fortunately for me, I just happened to be that boy. All of the Girl Scout troops in our area have a big Sock Hop each March and this was our first time to attend. This was our big Daddy Daughter date. I told her we could go to anyplace she wanted for dinner beforehand and she picked Subway (at least she’s a cheap date). We then spent the night dancing, doing the limbo, getting our picture made,and having a great time. We even got to share a Coca-cola Float, which was her first Coke. You would have thought she was drinking gold she was so excited.
This evening made me realize how fast time flies and how parenting is a giant leap of faith. There is no guide that tells you how to handle your little girl growing up. I watched the joy of her hanging with her friends and felt pained when she was unintentionally left out of a group dance. Having been through the school years, I have an idea of the joys and pains that await her. Of course, I want her to experience all of the joy of growing up with none of the pain. That’s not possible nor is that life, for it’s the pain that helps us grow, that helps us to be authentic. Basically, I spent three hours at the dance bouncing between emotions like a pinball while realizing my little girl isn’t so little anymore.
When we got home, she told me she wanted to give me a kiss, not a smushy kiss (where did she learn that?) but a kiss on the cheek. As I bent down to receive this gift, I found myself profoundly grateful to have my little girl around a little longer and hopeful beyond measure for what her future holds. Parenting is a wild and crazy ride, but worth every minute. Now, off to practice my dance steps for our next date.