We sat side-by-side on the couch. Scrolling through Facebook she stopped to show me a picture. A dad, in a suit and tie, down on one knee next to his precious princess daughter.
Unfortunately, my mouth opened before my grace/life-giving filter turned on.
"I seriously cannot go on Facebook this weekend. My entire feed is full of adorable girls and their fathers' headed to dances. I mean, why can't there be mother-son dances?"
(insert wide-eyed face emoji) Woah, Heather. Simmer down.
What kind of person gets angry when they see little girls in fancy dresses?
After some processing, there were two main reasons for my annoyance:
- Bruce wouldn't ever get to experience these moments with a daughter. (and he'd be a fantastic girl dad. . .)
- I don't like being excluded from fun. Missing out is not my favorite.
I've (eventually) come to love being an all-boy mom. But, apparently, there was more heart work to do. And I should be able to see pictures of happy little girls and not twinge with jealousy.
Thankfully, God is gracious and Sunday morning He gave me new perspective. . .
Yes, my husband will never get to experience the joy of taking his daughter to a dance, watching her in a recital or walking her down the aisle.
BUT. . .
I have four (pretty cute) sons. There's a good chance at least one will be waiting at the altar for a beautiful (Jesus-loving) girl to be walked down the aisle by her father.
Of course, I want a daughter-in-law who has a healthy relationship with her father.
A girl who requires a man to treat her with respect because her father always has.
A girl who will honor my son the way she honors her father.
A girl who knows the kindness and gentleness and attention of a father's love.
A girl who doesn't struggle to know her heavenly Father's love because she's known it here on earth.
I don't remember ever going to a daddy-daughter dance. Maybe they didn't exist or maybe they weren't for homeschool girls (back to the missing out issues).
But I do remember dancing with my daddy. Waiting for him to walk through the kitchen door. Running to his open arms and letting him twirl me in circles.
He may not have taken me to a formal dance, but every other week he took me on a donut date.
After picking out a sprinkled donut, we'd sit down with my Precious Moments Bible. He'd listen to whatever mattered most to me. We'd pick a Bible story and discuss it. There would always be prayer.
Sadly, it's taken me decades to appreciate the relationship I've taken for granted.
He helped my marriage before I'd even said, "I do." He gave me a way to view my husband long before I even knew what my husband looked like.
Not all little girls dance with their daddies. Not all little girls get invited to go on a first date with a man who loves them unconditionally. Not all little girls know what it means to be treated with respect and attention.
And so even though I'm sad we don't have a little girl wearing a ruffly pink dress headed off to a dance with my sweet, curly-headed husband, I'm choosing to be thankful.
Because other little girls are. And other dads are willing to go. And even more wonderful those dads are beaming; honored with the chance to treasure their daughters while they can.
And one day? That sweet little girl will wear a white dress, holding her dad's arm, his face again beaming. . .walking down the aisle towards my son.
The hand-off will happen.
My son's marriage will begin on stronger footing because a dad danced with his little girl.
(now to get some new perspective on ballet recitals before those pics hit Facebook).
((shout out and thank you to my friends who let me use the adorable pictures of your daughters))