There are few things that little children say that startle me. Mainly because our daughter has managed to say it all. But also because that’s what children do. They embarrass you, think you’re crazy, and boy, they’ll tell one of your secrets so fast your head will spin. So far, we’ve escaped that embarrassing moment. For now.
But what fascinates me, is the adoration little girls feel for their fathers sometimes. I mean, I spend all day with this girl, trying to keep her happy, trying to make her laugh, and trying to keep her fed. You’d think I’d be fun. But when daddy comes home, the need for mommy vanishes. A new parent’s in town and nothing compares to him. To her daddy. He flings her around, tells her silly jokes, and laughs loud. And he makes her feel special.
So, after watching them dance for what seemed like three hours, I thought, I can be cool, too. I can dance with her, too. I’ll look less ridiculous maybe, but just as cool.
So here we were, the next day. Listening to music, cleaning the house, laughing and having a great time together. I asked her if she wanted to dance. How fun! She was so excited. So, we started dancing. I felt like I was the winner. I knew in my heart of hearts that my dancing was better than my husband’s, and that she’d definitely prefer our method of dancing- a mother and her sweet little girl, making memories. It was a sweet moment. Sweet and very short lived.
“Not like this, mom. Like this. Dance like daddy!”
She really said that. She really did. In the middle of our dance, she stopped and looked me straight in the face and told me to dance like daddy. Apparently, my idea of dancing was different than her idea of dancing. I’m just not daddy, that’s the difference. It was funny. I’ll be honest, it was hilarious. I even tried to mimic his strange rhythm, and his really bad expressions. I just couldn’t be a horrible dancer. I have style and rhythm. He has jerking motions and awkward steps. How anyone calls that dancing, I have no clue. But she does. She loves it. He takes her little hand and spins her around and around. He makes her giggle and shriek and laugh so hard I’m afraid she’ll be dizzy and fall over. But that’s what they do, and he is her daddy.
And that’s their dance.
She waits for him to come through that door, you know. If she hears a truck outside she gets excited and says over and over that her daddy is home. I have to tell her he isn’t home yet, and it makes her sad. I take care of her, but boy, he makes her live. No one can compare to that. Not ever. And not even the best dancer in the world could take his place.
Because no one can dance like daddy.
I hope when she’s older, she’ll remember this. Her little hand in his, the music playing, the laughter between them. I know I’ll always remember. It makes me love him more. It makes me proud that he’s her father.
And as I watch them dance across the floor, her eyes gazing up at him, full of adoration and love, I see it so clear.
That she’s proud of her father, too.