“Dates With Dad” is a series of blogs from writer Maggie Kennedy that explores father/daughter relationships from a daughter’s perspective.
Daddy’s Little Girl – that’s exactly what I was. I had my Dad wrapped around my finger as a child and I am pretty sure my brother would still say I do.
The bond I share with my Dad is one that has grown over time. Now, looking back, I can see my Dad really took the time to build this relationship with his daughter.
Since I can remember, my Dad and I have been doing things together, just the two of us. When I was really little my Dad would let me clip my barrettes in his hair and would let me fake shave him (without a razor of course!). Once I got older my Dad and I went to our first Daddy-Daughter dance on Valentine’s Day. It was my first real date! I got all dressed up, he bought me a corsage and we went to dinner before the big dance. We danced the night away with all of my friends and their handsomely dressed Dads in the local high school gym.
As I hit middle school I found it was not “cool” to go to a Daddy-Daughter dance anymore. So, although it was Valentine’s Day and his birthday, my Dad still took me out on fabulous dates. We went to my very first fondue restaurant and my Dad even set up a tea party before dinner, just for me. We did many different dates over the years including Japanese Hibachi and dinner on an actual train.
I always looked forward to our dates, but once I was in high school and had my first boyfriend I quickly dumped my Dad on Valentine’s Day. As a 15-year-old with my first boyfriend I was ecstatic to be going on my Valentine’s Day date, not thinking twice about my Dad. As I write this now, 10 years later, it breaks my heart to know I dumped the one man who will forever have my heart.
Moving away to college opened my eyes to not only the love I knew I had for my parents, but the friendships I had built with them. I missed them even more being 100 miles away. When I would come home on weekends my Dad took me on the one date he knew I couldn’t say no to… shopping. On Sunday mornings we would go to Meijer to stock me up on groceries. I doubt it was the ideal Sunday morning activity for my Dad, but we both knew it was time we enjoyed being with each other.
As an adult, I feel it is my time to plan the dates for my Dad. Every year I invite him to relish in his dream of owning an RV by taking him to the Grand Rapids RV show. Our most recent dates included indoor and outdoor shooting ranges which surprisingly I think I enjoyed as much, if not more, than my Dad.
As my Dad hit senior citizens status this year, I decided it was time to go on the ultimate date. I asked my Dad to go to Europe with me, just us. No boyfriend, no brother, no mom, just the two of us. We will be touring England and Ireland in September. It is easy to say that the same young girl, who could break her Dad with one glance of those big hazel eyes and bottom quivering lip, is now wrapped around her Dad’s finger.
As I often tell my Dad, “A son is a son until he finds a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for life.” Not to take away from the father-son relationship he has (which I am sure is a strong bond over swearing, scratching and female body talk), but I know that I will be my Daddy’s little girl forever.
Maggie Kennedy, born and raised in Brighton, MI, graduated from Grand Valley State University and currently serves as a Public Relations Associate for Wondergem Consulting Inc. She is the proud mom of a beautiful (extra-large) Bernese Mountain Dog.
For more information on “Dating Your Daughter” and ideas for special Daddy / Daughter Dates, check out our MAY Feature!