I went in to work Thursday morning at 6. We had an elders’ meeting and I worked on through the day because I needed to get off early. I had a date with the sweetest and prettiest 2-year-old you could ever imagine.
It was my first Valentine’s date with Gloria.
I had the privilege of preparing Obadiah for his first date with Mom and Eli with his first date with Mom. While they have had many times like this, now it was my opportunity to take lil’ Miss Gloria on a date.
We had been talking about it for days. She kept telling me, “Daddy, I’m gonna wear my pink dress and my ‘wipe’ tights.”
“Oh, wow. That will be pretty. Do you think Daddy should wear white tights?”
“No, Daddy, you are too big. You are silly!”
As if the anticipation wasn’t already killing me, Mom sent me a picture of her dressed up to go out on Thursday afternoon. I packed things up and headed that way. I still had a few things to get ready.
When I opened the door, she jumped off the couch and said, “Daddy, I’m ready for our date! Do I look pretty?”
“Yes, darling. You look so very pretty!”
As she proceeded to give me one of her big hugs (never to be confused with the little hugs she reserves for other people), I told her I had something to give to her. I pulled out some roses and she said, “Wow, flowers!”
“Yes, darling. These are your roses.”
“No, Daddy, they are flowers.”
“Fine, they are flowers. Guess what? Daddy got them for you.”
Her expression is impossible to articulate through written medium. She opened her mouth and seemed a bit overwhelmed. She almost looked uncomfortable with such a gesture and her eyes got a little watery. At that sight, Amanda and I both started tearing up.
“For me?” she sighed. I was ruined.
“Yes, darling. These are all for you.”
The look in her eyes when I told her that those flowers were hers reminded me why I do what I do.
I had to help get the boys ready for their date with Mom which involved spicy deodorant, ties and dress socks, a set of flowers, and arguing about how much money they needed in their wallet to pay for Mom’s meal at a Japanese steakhouse.
When I came back downstairs, Gloria was calling out to me, “Daddy? Where are you?”
“I’m right here, Baby.”
“Oh. Don’t worry, Daddy. I won’t leave you.”
“Well, that is a good thing.”
“Are you ready to go? I’ve got your favorite song on in the truck ready for you.”
“You have ‘Lay Me Down?'”
“Yes, darling. I’ve got it all ready to go.” She loves that Chris Tomlin song and she sings it better than anybody!
We got in the truck. Her song started playing. And she snickered at how it was all ready for her when I cranked up the truck. She began to do her backseat dance and sang along.
We arrived in time for the “Daddy Daughter Date Night” at Chick-fil-a. My friend, Brian Whitaker, and his staff do a fantastic job here in Greenwood. I know there is a level of quality at all Chick-fil-a restaurants, but these guys go all out. Brian is the real deal and he does a fantastic job.
The service was great, the food was excellent, and the setup was awesome. I loved the place mats full of questions to ask one another. The gift bag, flower, and balloon were quite the hit. I looked around the restaurant at all the good moments taking place and was thankful for this organization. I know people have had controversy with the company, but there seems to be a lot worse things in the world going on that what this company was equipping fathers to do on this night.
The only thing making my date nervous was that pesky cow walking around. I could not convince her that he wasn’t suspect.
Our friend was also playing her violin in the dining area (which was a hidden talent of hers until Thursday night). It was incredible that when she started playing “Be Thou My Vision” how the entire mall seemed to come to a standstill. It was a breathtaking moment watching everyone slow down to listen to that melody. I began to pray, “Direct these people, O King of my heart!”
“She’s playing the violin. Aww, that’s pretty. Is Miss Chelsea wearing tap shoes?”
“Ummm…not sure. Maybe.”
After we finished up our meal, she wanted to walk around the mall holding hands which I was happy to oblige. She didn’t want to go in any stores (probably the last time I take her in the mall and she doesn’t want to buy something ;)), she just wanted to walk back and forth. We would comment on the pictures. We would talk about silly things. She wanted to sit down in different places to take it all in.
I took a picture of her as she sat with her flower and balloon.
She then wanted to take a picture of me as I sat with her flower and balloon.
After a while, we ran out to the truck with her clinging to my neck for warmth and security. We listened to our song on the way home.
“It will be my joy to say, Your will, Your way.”
When we got home, we ate some of the candy she received. We read silly books, tickled one another, and played the games she was inventing.
As I sang her to sleep that night, I was thankful for such a sweet time with her. I did it for her benefit, but what a reward I received as well. I kept thinking that night how my job is to instill in her such a peaceful disposition. I want to be so consistent and loving in her life that she knows three things early in life:
- Her Heavenly Father is crazy about her and would do anything for her
- Her earthly father is crazy about her and would do anything for her
- No trifling boy will ever stand a chance with her because the standard has been set so high
She is such a gift. I will never know why God allows me the privilege of being her father.