How Cinderella Should Have Gone



We had another first this weekend.  It was amazing.  It was epic.  It was unforgettable.  It was our first Daddy Daughter dance.  Oh, the preciousness.  I’m not sure I can do the description justice. But I’ll try. I’ll begin by saying that I went into this historic weekend with some small trepidation, mostly because after the past few months (and past few weeks, in particular) I am so over girls and their frippery I could scream.  I mean it.  I’m done – with flowers and dances and Valentine theatrics…the whole she-bang.  Middle school girls are crazy.  I’m just putting it out there.  My apologies to those of you who have daughters in this age range.

But, they are.

The middle school Luke attends is doing a fundraiser that involves buying and sending carnations to the recipient of your choice next week.  PTA took orders last week (I was up there helping as part of my quest for Good Motherhood) and will deliver them next Thursday in all the Valentine frenzy.  The morning of the sale, I had a heart-to-heart with Luke, which basically involved me telling him that he was not, under any circumstances, to buy a flower for anyone.  Period.  Not a single person.  To ensure his comprehension of my seriousness, I then explained to him that if he attempted to do so, I would choke the life out of him.  Then bring him back to life.  And kill him again.  Are we clear?

I also proceeded to fill the other mothers at school in on my orders, and to enlist their help in shooing Luke away from the flower sale table should he be so foolish as to approach it regardless of his peril.

Mama don’t play.

Over it.

However, since Emry is only five, and her date was her daddy, I managed to put aside my irritation and work up some genuine enthusiasm for her big night.

Friday we went and got pedicures together (it was the cutest girl time ever) and had lunch, then went shoe shopping (for her…this was not about me.  I didn’t even try a single pair on.  Restraint at its best). We discussed how I would do her hair, and what to expect from the evening, and how pretty her dress was….. At one point she looked at me and said, “I can’t believe I am having a date with Daddy!” And then I melted.

Saturday was a gorgeous day.  When the time came to start getting ready, I sat her on a barstool in my bathroom and put hot rollers in her hair.  She chatted and laughed, squirming on her stool under the unfamiliar weight of curler-bound hair.  It was a little surreal, since my memories of my mother putting curlers in my hair are still all so clear.  Has it been that long?

We grabbed her favorite blanket and book of princess stories, then cuddled on the couch and read while we waited for the rollers to cool.  I held her hand, alternating between the tales on the page and questions from her fascinating little mind.  She sat up straight with a concerned frown after about 15 minutes and said, “Mommy….I don’t think I know how to dance right for this.”  Oh, angel girl…..I assured her that Daddy had that part under control.  She thought about this for a moment, roller-heavy head cocked to the side, then nodded once and gestured for me to continue reading. Rapunzel waits for no man.

When the time came, we got her hair roller-free and fluffed, put a flower in it, and headed to get her dressed.  After a brief argument over tights (they were non-negotiable for me), we got her flouncy dress and sparkly shoes on.  Then, we headed to strut our stuff for Daddy.

He came out in his suit, looking ever so dapper, and made all the right comments and compliments over his beautiful girl.  It was just too adorable.  And when he bent to one knee to hand over her flower and kiss her hand, her smile was like the sun coming up.


I was so completely in love with both of them I could hardly breathe.We checked for tickets, gave hugs and kisses, and got them loaded into the car after only 50-60 more pictures.  The fact that they were riding with several of our friends and their daughters only added to the chaos….and the fun.  The innocent excitement of a night like this is in a class all its own. Steven Curtis Chapman has a song, “Cinderella”.  It’s one of my favorites.  As they drove away for their magical night, my darling princess and her handsome prince, the chorus played in my mind:

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

 I’ll admit to a tear or two in that moment.

And maybe one or two more when they returned home.  A strong daddy walked in holding his sweet, sleepy girl….sparkly shoes long gone, curls tumbling down – and my heart just melted.

She had the night of her life. And while there will be other Daddy Daughter dances, and other date nights…some without her daddy’s presence….there will never be another first time, not like this.  She experienced a fairy tale, with all the parts important to her – ice cream at dinner, dancing with her dream date, giggling with her friends, petting the horse and then riding in a carriage behind it, playing chase around the venue trees (apparently, dad still moves pretty fast, even in a suit)…. And when it was all over, she was carried home, safe in the arms of her father.  She could rest her weary little head on his shoulder, secure in the knowledge he had her, and would hold her tight in his arms no matter what.

Cinderella3May she never forget this night – any of it.
May she hold these memories close and smile as she adds to them.

May she always know the comfort of her father’s arms, as she grows to know the comfort of her Father’s presence.

May we all hold on to that, and be secure in our hope because of it.

Solidarity, sisters.  And may you all live happily ever after.

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