When my wife and I adopted our daughter, my wife suggested that one a day a week be daddy-daughter day. She said it was important for daughters to spend time with their fathers.
And so it was that Saturday, sometimes Sunday and sometimes both became daddy-daughter day.
We started small; sometimes our daddy-daughter day adventure was nothing more than a stroll around our neighborhood. When my daughter was old enough to sit quietly and comfortably in a regular chair, daddy-daughter day began with breakfast at a local restaurant. From there, anything was possible. One of our earliest adventures was an open house at a home so fancy that one of its bathrooms had a fireplace and wide-screen television. We had to cover our shoes with hospital-like booties before we could go in.
We spent a lot of time on the campus of my college alma mater. We saw a men’s basketball game and some football and baseball games. But mostly we watched women’s sports – basketball, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and gymnastics – because I wanted my daughter to see positive female role models.
Sports were a big part of daddy-daughter day. We saw minor league baseball games in Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach, a women’s NCAA tournament basketball game in Greensboro, an NCAA women’s soccer championship and a Chicago Cubs playoff game from the bleachers at Wrigley field. At the women’s soccer championship, my daughter got to high-five Mia Hamm. At golf’s U.S. Open for women, she got autographs from Lorena Ochoa and Morgan Pressel.
Many of our adventures had a destination but no real purpose. Sometimes we’d drive two hours to the beach just to put our feet in the water and to eat fresh seafood, though my daughter preferred chicken tenders and the occasional cheeseburger.
At some point, I bought my daughter a scrapbook where she could put newspaper clippings, ticket stubs and the like. I hope she cherishes it.
But lately, she hasn’t added much to the scrapbook. That has been mostly my fault; for a while there, changes in the workplace had me in the office on Saturdays and Sundays. But I had said all along that my daughter would one day outgrow daddy-daughter day. At some point in her teens, she would prefer spending time with friends.
I was right. My daughter is now 18 with a car, a part-time job and a best friend. And while I don’t know that we’ve had our last daddy-daughter day, there won’t be as many as there have been.
That’s OK, because little girls grow up. But we created many great memories and forged a stronger bond because of daddy-daughter day. More moms should insist on them; one day, their husbands and daughters will thank them.