Sunday, February 8, 2009

Daddies and daughters

I've mentioned this before, I think, but sometimes I take pictures for our church.  I'm not a great photographer but occasionally, I'll get lucky and snap some really cool shots.  There are still some things I'm trying to learn about my camera and taking pictures; technical things, like adjusting the aperture, shutter speed, exposure.  But it's fun and sometimes, as I said, I get lucky and find that "money" shot.
Last night I felt a little like Ashton Kutcher from the wedding Nikon commercial, getting great shots (although I didn't knock over any champagne glasses).  That is, when my head wasn't imploding with frustration trying to get those great shots.  And I really wanted to get those great shots.
You see, last night I was a part of something few moms ever get to see.  It made me laugh, smile, grin, giggle and even feel the sting of tears.  I found myself watching my dear friends' husbands and daughters and holding them even more dear than I did before because of what I was seeing.  I was able to observe, somewhat anonymously, daddies and their daughters laughing and playing and being silly.  Last night, our church had their 11th Annual Father Daughter Dance.
There's just something special about a relationship between a daddy and his daughter.  If you are a parent, you already understand that there are bonds between a daddy and his daughter and a mommy and her son.  There's just no explaining it.  The fact that there were at least two scheduled Daddy Daughter dances last night (our church and one at a hotel downtown) is a simple proof that it's there.  (On a side note, there was also a Monster Truck Jam this weekend, for the Mommies and Sons.)
So last night I show up a little before all the other dads and daughters to practice taking pictures with my camera.  As any place decorated for a dance should be, the lighting was low, with some stage lights (we had a DJ) and a few white Christmas lights for decoration.  As people started showing up, I started taking pictures.  It was very frustrating at first - little girls don't tend to stand still - but I started getting the hang of it.  The nicest thing about a digital camera is seeing the shot after it's taken and being able to take hundreds (I took, literally, about 400 pictures last night) and just deleting the ones that were no good.  I think I'll be deleting a lot.
As the night wore on, I can't even begin to tell you what it was like.  I almost feel like I'd be betraying some big secret if I talked too much about what happened.  Like it's some secret society and the rituals involved can't be discussed outside it's members.  I can tell you that I saw daddies dancing with their daughters without any hesitation about how they thought they looked.  No one seemed self-conscious about it at all.  They all looked like they were having a great time with their daughters.  Trey tried to get Monkey to dance some early on, but she was feeling a little bit shy.  It took her a while to get warmed up to dancing and, naturally, it was a Hannah Montana song that got them out on the dance floor.
The ages of the daughters ranged from about one year old and still figuring out that their legs can do more than just walk, to a mom dancing with her daddy, but I'd say the majority of the girls' ages fell between 4 and 14.  The girls were all dressed up in their fancy valentine dresses and the daddies were in suits, tuxedos that matched their daughters' dresses and I did see one in an Air Force uniform.  There's just something about a man in uniform!
I'm so glad that I was there last night.  It was something special and wonderful and I won't soon forget it.  I can't wait to start culling the pictures I took and I hope I find those "money" shots of all those daddies and daughters.


Ryan said...

I only have a son... and he's great, but I often wonder if the bond is strong between dad and daughter because there is no implicit competition there. Sure, I say I want my son to be better than me, but do I secretly feel threatened? I'm sure a psychologist could explain this better....

Julie said...

Oh, Kool Aid, you were so lucky!! Just being there, you were part of each pairing's moment, feeling the love shared, owning a part of that yourself.

You brought back very happy memories and warm feelings of my relationship with my father. Although I didn't get my daddy/daughter dance until I was an adult, it was still awesome.

Thank you, Kool Aid.

Kool Aid said...

@Ryan That could certainly be it. I know as a teen, my mom and I had many arguments and it could be from that very reason. We grew out of it, of course. I'm certainly no psychologist, but you could be on to something.

@Julie I do know how lucky I was. It was just amazing, really, to see their interactions. I'm glad I stirred up some memories for you as well as my own memories of me and my daddy. Hopefully, next year he'll be able to make the trip out and we'll be able to go to the dance with Trey and Monkey. He loves to dance, just like I do.

I'm also glad you got your dance, even as an adult. Sometimes the dance is better appreciated as an adult, anyway.

Tara@Sticky fingers said...

You are absolutely right about the daddy/daughter thing.
My little girl has totally wrapped her daddy around here little finger like my son never could and it's such a joy to see them together - especially as they are so alike it's frightening.

Kool Aid said...

@Tara so sorry I didn't respond to your comment! I've been a bad blogger lately.

Isn't it just so funny how that connection happens? It is a great thing to watch and be a part of.