Wedding Wednesday: My Argument for the Daddy/Daughter Dance

Ya know. One of the things that is most interesting to me during this whole growing up process is how it gets easier to completely change your mind. Take, for example, various and sundry wedding traditions. Most are silly or stupid and based entirely upon the premise that woman are first owned by their dads and then owned by their husbands.

I always felt weirded out by the mushy, gushy (and sometime downright creepy) Daddy/Daughter Dance. You know, where the dad dances one last dance with his little girl (generally to some icky song like, “Daddy’s Little Girl”). Don’t deny it! You know you’ve felt the same way sometimes.

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But here’s the thing. When I was trying to figure out my planned-in-3-days-wedding in Alaska, I realized something. I wanted to dance with my dad. I really, REALLY wanted to dance with my daddy. In fact, if he passed away before the “official” wedding in May, I would deeply regret NOT grabbing that moment and dancing with him.*

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So I did. It was a little random (the reception was so stripped down that cutting the cake and that dance were the only traditional things in it), we hadn’t practiced, and people kind of didn’t know what was going on. The song was played on a tinny boombox plugged into an outlet about 50 feet away. I was barefoot and my dad kept dancing me into a giant mud puddle.

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But we danced. And we cried. And we laughed. And we sobbed. And we giggled and held each other and stepped on each other’s toes. We danced to one of our favorite songs – mine because it reminded me of something my parents always told their kids (“All we want is for you to grow up and be happy”) and his because every line spoke truths from his heart.

Trace Adkins – Then They Do (by Jim Collins/Sunny Russ)

In the early rush of morning,
Trying to get the kids to school: 
One's hanging on my shirt-tail, 
Another's locked up in her room. 
And I'm yelling up the stairs: 
“Stop worrying 'bout your hair, you look fine.”

Then they're fightin' in the backseat, 
And I'm playing referee. 
Now someone's gotta go, 
The moment that we leave. 
And everybody's late, 
I swear that I can't wait till they grow up. 

Then they do, and that's how it is. 
It's just quiet in the mornin', 
Can't believe how much you miss, 
All they do and all they did. 
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do. 

Now the youngest is starting college, 
She'll be leavin' in the Fall. 
And Brianna's latest boyfriend, 
Called to ask if we could talk. 
And I got the impression, 
That he's about to pop the question any day.

I look over at their pictures, 
Sittin' in their frames. 
I see them as babies: 
I guess that'll never change. 
You pray all their lives, 
That someday they will find happiness. 

Then they do, and that's how it is. 
It's just quiet in the mornin', 
Can't believe how much you miss, 
All they do and all they did. 
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do. 

No more Monday PTA's, 
No carpools, or soccer games. 
Your work is done.
Now you've got time that's all your own. 
You've been waitin' for so long, 
For those days to come. 

Then they do, and that's how it is. 
It's just quiet in the mornin', 
Can't believe how much you miss, 
All they do and all they did. 
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do. 

Ah, then they do.

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Not to tell y’all what to do but… if you DO have the chance to dance with your dad (or father figure) at your wedding reception. Do it. It is a very precious thing.

*For those just tuning in, my dad was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in July. He was upset that he would not be at our already planned and paid for May 2012 wedding. So, The Boy and I flew up to Alaska and had a quickly planned civil ceremony. It was nothing like what we wanted but we’re SO glad that we did it as my sweet daddy passed away on December 11th of 2011.

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