This year, February 27, 2019 marked my 11th Father/Daughter Dance to date. I can clearly remember taking Lillie, my oldest daughter, to her first dance at her elementary school. It was an excited evening for both of us. For me as a parent, I got to spend this memorable and special time with just my daughter and me. And for Lillie, she was about to witness some pretty sweet dance moves by her father. Except the sweet dance moves didn’t quite happen like I expected.
When we showed up to the dance, I became very self-conscious about dancing in front of all these strangers. All I wanted to do was hold Lillie’s hand and sway back and forth in a non-attention seeking way. This behavior is pretty out of character for me because I don’t have trouble performing or singing in front of unfamiliar people. I also noticed that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Some dads were sitting on chairs around the outside walls. Some dads were standing near there daughters trying hard not to move to much. Some dads were on their phones or talking to each other. But then some of the dads were out on the dance floor having the greatest time of their lives! They were enjoying this moment no matter who was watching.
As I observed this, it became clear to me that I was caring to much. Caring to much to enjoy and be present in the moment and just have fun. And that’s when I decided that I was NOT going to spend these special moments with my daughters worrying about who was watching me or caring that I might look ridiculous. I was and am going to spend these moments being present, having fun, dancing every dance with my daughters, and nailing the spelling of the Y-M-C-A!