Dancing Chick handed me the papers from her backpack in a big stack. This is an every Wednesday event so I wasn’t expecting anything unusual. But when I came to the pink piece of paper, I felt my heart start to race and had to concentrate very hard on keeping my face completely straight. She was sitting at the table with me and I could feel her watching me.
It was the announcement of her first Father/Daughter Dance. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. This can’t be happening all ready. I thought I wouldn’t have to worry about this until middle school.
I realize that the paper has gone all fuzzy because I’m trying so hard to keep it together. I get my eyes to focus and start reading. Luckily the school put under the giant title “Father/Daughter Dance” or uncle, grandfather, friend, or anyone. I realize that I must say something and hope that DC thinks this will be something to look forward to. The convo went like this:
Me: “Did you see this?”
Me: “Are you gonna ask Papa to go?”
DC: “I don’t know”
Me: “I think he would be really excited to go”
DC: “I don’t know” (this is actually a good sign. Everything is “I don’t know” so it seems that it’s just another thing for her).
Me: “Why don’t you call him and ask him?”
DC: “Not now”
Me: “Do you want to go?”
DC: “I don’t know”
Me: “How come?”
DC: “Well, maybe”
Me: “OK, well why don’t you just call him and see if he even would want to go?” (I knew my father would be very excited to go with her so I was hoping that if she talked to him she would stop with the I don’t knows).
DC: “Because that is something you ask face-to-face.” And she gave me that duh mom look that I have been seeing a lot more of lately.
Me: “Oh, ok. Well put it up on the board so you remember to ask him.”
That night, after she went to bed, I went through all kinds of emotions. I was mad at her father and sad that something this normal had to have this effect on our little world. In the end, I was thankful for the strength to handle this in a way that will help my daughter deal with the hardships that this absence in her life will continue to cause.
So yesterday when I went to pick her up at my parent’s house after she was dropped off there from dance class, I brought the terrifying pink paper. I gave it to her without a word. She handed it to her grandfather and said “Would you like to go to this with me?” A giant smile spread over his face and he said “I would be proud to take my granddaughter to this.” His smile spread to her beautiful face and my heart slowed back to a normal beat.
They start talking about what they have to wear (it’s a formal attire dance). My dad says “I’ll get one of those powder blue tuxedos with the ruffles.” DC says, “I don’t think so Papa. That’s not ok.” Giggling and wrestling ensues and the father part of the father/daughter dance has been replaced with grandfather. I realize I have been holding my breath. Deep breathe and our little world goes back to our version of normal.