By Ben Tinsley
The upcoming Feb. 9 "Daddy-Daughter Dance" sponsored by the Cherokee Charmers brings to mind a few recently-published rules of thumb for fathers who wish to preserve good relationships with daughters.
This Jacksonville dance, incidentally, is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Nichols Intermediate School, 818 SE Loop 456. Tickets are $5 apiece.
The occasion itself has taken some hits recently. Back in September, a Rhode Island city ended father-daughter dances and mother-son ball games on the basis of the state's gender discrimination law.
The state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter of complaint from a single mother whose daughter was precluded from attending the father-daughter dance.
But not so in Texas, where the father-daughter dances are extremely popular in and around Valentines Day. The individualized father-daughter dance also is common at wedding receptions, quinceañeras and debutante balls.
The list of 50 rules of thumb for fathers and daughters was composed by author Michael Mitchell. It is expected to prove invaluable to father and daughter relationships.
Following are a few of the best ones:
• Love your daughter's mother. Treat her with respect, honor, and many public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother.
• Always be there for your little girl. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her … add life to her years.
• Be her hero. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero, so it might as well be Daddy. You have to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Be valiant and rise to the occasion. Dress like Superman if you feel like it.
• Savor every moment you and she have together. Don't forget, she’s crawling around the house in diapers right now, but tomorrow, she'll have the keys to the car. Blink and she'll be walking down the aisle. Life happens quickly and older daddies don't get as much QT with their daughters as younger ones do.
The annual Cherokee Charmers dance, meanwhile, is expected to be in the full spirit of these rules – a fun night for fathers to spend time with their daughters and provide an example as to what a real date should be like as together they enjoy Bob Carlisle's song "Butterfly Kisses." (As important to daddies and daughters as Harry Chapin's "Cat's In the Cradle" is to fathers and sons.)
The benefit to the girls? They'll see what it's like to be in the company of the man who worships them and will love them for the rest of their lives.
The dance, of course, will include games, refreshments, fresh flowers for daddies to buy for their daughters, face painting and photos. And tons of dances with Dad.
This has been a Charmer tradition for many years and all money raised is expected to help support Charmer activities throughout the year.