By KIM BALDWIN
McPherson County farmer and rancher
I was recently out of town for a week traveling to multiple locations in the country. My family stayed home to continue the day-to-day routines.
While I was gone, our community’s Daddy Daughter Date Night took place. The event had been added onto our family calendar the day the flyer was sent home from school. It was the important topic of conversation during many breakfasts and dinners in our kitchen for weeks leading up to the event.
My 4-year-old daughter, Isannah, obsessed over the idea of a Daddy Daughter Date Night and all of the glamour associated with it. Her voice would instantly rise to an excitedly high-pitched squeak every time she’d mention the words “Daddy Daughter Date Night.”
She’d straighten her posture, walk on her tiptoes and prance around the house exclaiming she was going on a fancy date. She also made sure to routinely remind my husband that he, in fact, would be available to take her, and it was going to be fabulous.
Both of my children have benefitted from hand-me-downs over the years. With multiple older cousins who grow fast, we’ve been able to add many outfits into the kids’ closets for a new lease on life. Isannah has especially benefited from having an older, stylish girl cousin who routinely sends beautiful clothes to be worn again by my girl. We have established quite a collection of holiday dresses, party dresses and princess dresses thanks to this wardrobe sharing agreement.
When my daughter first presented the handout detailing the Daddy Daughter Date Night event, I knew we wouldn’t need to go dress shopping because we have plenty of options at home.
As the special night approached, I was out of town. I worried I wouldn’t be home to do my daughter’s hair, let alone help her pick out her dress for this clearly momentous event in my little girl’s life. Nonetheless, my girl proved she didn’t necessarily need me to be there to help when I received a text message from my mother-in-law with an attached picture.
The image showed my little girl sitting on her daddy’s lap with a bright smile before leaving for their date night. She had selected her dress and all of the accessories, and you could tell she was proud to have personally selected her date night outfit all by herself. You could tell she knew that she was going to be the fanciest little girl at the dance.
The dress she chose to wear was not one of her cousin’s fancy, princess-like dresses I had anticipated she’d choose. Instead, it was a beautiful black dress with red ruffles and polka dots I had purchased for her while I was in Madrid, Spain, last year. The “flamingo dress,” as she refers to it, was accessorized with a beautiful red flower hair clip, grey yoga pants and athletic shoes. It was the exact same outfit she excitingly wore in October ... for Halloween!
While I’m sure this will not be the mindset my daughter will have when it comes to prom dresses many years from now, I can’t help but smile whenever I think of how Isannah approached this special night by embracing her own style — obviously without the help of her parents — and totally and fabulously nailing it while enjoying a special evening out with her daddy!
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