It was my wife’s fantastic idea (one of her many): Take my six-year-old out on a “daddy date”. I could show her how a boy is supposed to treat her, and what she should expect on a date (whenever that inevitable, and very dreaded, day comes along). My daughter kept referring to it as her “daddy day” not wanting the date-word attached. That was just fine with me.
Her name is Ruby, and since the birth if our third baby, Mr. Axl, Ruby has been an amazing helper (we haven’t nicknamed her “little mama” for nothing). To show our appreciation for her help in feeding, entertaining, diaper-changing assistance, and protector of the baby prince from the middle monster known as Ramona, we decided she deserved a night out with dad: McDonald’s and Despicable Me 2 were on the date agenda.
We both got dressed up, and I was to pick her up at the door. I had taken the three monkeys out for a walk the previous day, and remembered stopping by a neighbor’s house two streets away to smell the beautiful purple flowers. I decided I couldn’t show up for our date empty handed, so I ran (yes, I actually ran) over to the neighbor with the flowers’ house, and knocked on their door. The man who opened the door looked confused by my presence and when I asked him if those were his flowers hanging over the fence, he said, “uh, yeah?”, looking at me even stranger. Then I explained the daddy date concept and asked if I could bring my daughter a couple of the flowers for our “date”. His smile was full of sweetness and relief. He said yes, and I was off to pick up my princess.
I knocked on the door, she answered, grinning from ear-to-ear at the flowers. I stepped in while my wife snapped a couple photos, and we were off. Running late for the start of the film (we made it just in time), we had to swing through the McDonald’s drive-thru, and ate our food on the way to the cinema. I opened the doors for her, bought her Care Bear Gummies, water, and some popcorn, and got to watch her light up at the silliness of Gru and his minions, and his three little goils. We held hands on our way out of the theater, and I helped her up into the van, ready for home and (for her) bed.
I’m not sure who the daddy date meant more to. I know she had a good time, but I rarely get the chance to hang out with just my little Ruby. Ramona is constantly on my back, my legs, my head…, and Axl needs both close attention, and even closer protection from Ramona. I don’t get a lot of solo hours with my oldest. Not since she was three. It was awesome, and I would put the world on hold to get another date with my little princess.
My fellow horror writer/blogger Jonathan Janz mentioned how precious these fleeting moments with our little girls are. And Mr. Darius Rucker wrote a song that reminds us, “It won’t be like this for long.” It’s all right on the money. My Ruby is going to be dating for real before I know it. I mean, it still seems like she was just born, I blinked my eyes, and she’s almost seven! Treasure every precious second you get with your little ones, and remember the words of the guy some people still call “Hootie”:
Someday soon that little girl is gonna be all grown up and gone,
This phase is gonna fly by, but he’s trying to hold on,
cuz it won’t be like this for long.