The Best Time Of The Year – Father Daughter Dance by Patriarch Dan Pantos

Daddy-Daughter 2015 (1)

It’s one of my favorite nights of the year, but this time….this time it’s not with my wife! But another girl. A girl that I think the world of – in fact…she IS my world! I fear that someday she won’t want to be around me as much as I want to be around her! And this year marked the third year in a row that I’ve gotten to enjoy this special night. To be honest, I probably look more forward to this night than Christmas. It means that much to me and I don’t know how many more of these nights I’ll get!

This year it started with a nice dinner and she ordered the Lil Meatball. Basically a Rigatoni and Meatball dish that she devoured. I, on the other hand, enjoyed a pulled pork type of sandwich. Although we were at dinner with others, it’s these moments where I sit and watch and listen to everything she does! My phone is turned off – except to take pictures, but this girl has my undivided attention because this is OUR night!!! Not to sound selfish, but I don’t care that nobody can get ahold of me. The one person that can is sitting right across the table from me!!!

After dinner, we head over to our 3rd Daddy-Daughter Dance. We get there and it’s all Daisies, Brownies, and Girl Scouts from around the area. You dads out there with daughters involved in any level of Girl Scouts will understand the magnitude when I say…there are a lot of Dads and Daughters – A LOT! But my focus is on just one person…MY daughter – Kaia! When they say that a daughter has their daddy’s wrapped around their finger…this one does! I’ll be the first one to tell you that I had no intentions of ever having kids, but when Kaia was born, but my thoughts and feelings completely changed!

You’d think that when we show up that we’d dance the night away. And for some – they do! I mean we got our annual picture taken; however, this night isn’t really about dancing, but more of just being there. Being available when she wants to come to you to get a glass of water or a cookie or just to make sure you’re still there. And that’s kind of the way it goes for the next couple of hours. She runs around with her friends that are there, too! And she runs, and runs, the occasional cartwheel is thrown in there, and continues to run! As the night winds down and we begin to walk out, I hear the most amazing thing from Kaia – “Daddy, I made this for us. It’s for our picture when we get it.” In one of those moments in time she disappeared, leaving me to speak with other dads in the same boat, she had snuck off to make this card. Honestly, it wouldn’t matter if the card was just a blank piece of paper, but this was something she made and I will cherish it forever! And she made it for US!

Although the dance is over, I’m not ready for the night to be over. Not yet! “Kaia, do you want to go get some ice cream before we go home?” Her response is priceless – “Absolutely!” So we run to get her an Orange Julius and I got the pineapple-mango smoothie! The night concluded with us singing at the top of our lungs to the radio.

So, even though I didn’t get a dance with my daughter, I got something so much better! Confirmation that she still needs me. Yes, she’s only 7, but there is no better feeling that the love of my daughter. And when she gives me her hugs, my world is perfect. Looking forward to our (hopeful) 4th Daddy-Daughter Dance 2017! I LOVE being Kaia’s daddy! – Patriarch Dan

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