It’s that time of year! All the super sweet pictures of little girls dressed to the nines, being whisked away by their prince charming; Dad! To a lavish ball, filled with other dad’s and their daughters. It’s magical and memorable.
I didn’t grow up in an environment that fostered a daddy/daughter relationship. My biological father was abusive towards my mother and I feared him. I loved him, but I feared him. We didn’t go on dates, he didn’t teach me how a man is supposed to treat a woman, we weren’t buddies. He was dad and what he said was rule.
He and my mother divorced when I was 9-ish and my mom met my step-father. He was kind, loving towards my mother and genuine, something I had never experienced before. He was so different and I did everything I could to run him off. I have no clue, other than Divine intervention, how he stayed through my teenage years, but he did. His dedication and love are the temperature by which I gauge most of my relationships today.
So when I see these adorable posts of fathers treating their little girls like princesses, my heart tugs and I think back to the last “date” I had with my real dad; my step-father!
As you probably already know, I am a recovered addict and alcoholic. To say that I dragged my parents through the fire, would be an understatement. I was nothing short of the death of them. On my last bender my mom started making funeral arrangements. Of course, I was convinced, and would have convinced you, that I was only hurting myself and that the pain and suffering my parents were feeling was sidebar. It was not. It was more real, confusing and conflicting to them than almost anyone. They were definitely in the top 5 victims of my addiction.
I called my step-dad up one afternoon and asked him out on a date.
“Well…ok. What will we be doing?” He asked.
“I was thinking that we could go for coffee and then to an AA meeting.”
He chuckled and agreed.
The next day I put on my all blue Chucks, a pair of blue jeans and a faded concert “t” and we were off! To a meeting. To a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was glorious!
He listened with intent, soaking up all that he could gather, hanging on the next words of each person in the room, hoping, maybe, for an answer to my affliction. One of his former bosses and close friends was an alcoholic in recovery and my step-father was privy to this lingo, but still captured by it all.
When we left, I thanked him. I felt so loved and honored that this daddy/daughter date went so well.
Our relationship has changed over the last few years. I have gone from being the phone call they dreaded to the receive to the daughter they can now relate to. We don’t always see eye-to-eye…after all, he hates these tattoos, but we can find common ground in the relationship that we’ve built over the years.
I didn’t wear a ballgown or fix my hair. He didn’t ring my doorbell or bring flowers. But the best daddy/daughter date was had, our style, our speed, our God orchestrated.