Since the girls were young, I've relished our daddy-daughter dates. As little girls, the dates were to McDonalds or a movie. As they grew, the daddy-daughter paradigm became weekends to Chicago or Minneapolis. Daddy-daughter time continues to change with time. A few months ago, Taylor and I took off for the weekend in what would be our last getaway before she got married. This weekend, Madison and I are in the Twin Cities looking at colleges. Next week she turns 18. Another reminder that the days of McDonalds PlayPlace, Polly Pocket and the Disney Store lie far behind us.
One of the things I promised myself when the girls were babies was that I would enjoy every stage of life, growth and parenthood for what it was. I remind myself of that promise all the time. You can't stop the train. Enjoy the ride.
And so, I've really enjoyed my time with Madison this weekend. We've visited three very different colleges. From massive state university to small technical community college and private liberal arts college. I've enjoyed watching Madison envision herself in each as she thinks through the possibilities and challenges. She fell in love with the University of St. Thomas. It's quickly risen to the top of her list. An added bonus was free tickets to the St. Thomas vs. Northwestern football game. My high school buddy, Matt, is Athletic Director at Northwestern and we got a chance to meet up with him and catch up.
Interestingly enough, our fun time this weekend has been a reminder of daddy-daughter dates of years past. We went to Minneapolis Children's Theater production of "Cinderella." The production was funny, energetic and entertaining. Just as entertaining was the army of little girls dressed in their Cinderella costumes dancing in their seats. Ahhhhh, what memories that brought back to mind of Madison in her Snow White costume playing "Maddyella."
Last night, we went to Where the Wild Things Are, the movie based on the popular children's book. Again, memories came flooding back of Madison's favorite childhood books and stories while we had a very adult conversation about the themes and metaphors of the movie. How times have changed.
Today, Madison will give ol' dad his due – letting me take her to the Vikings game before heading home. It's been a great weekend. While the content of Daddy-daughter dates have certainly changed over the years, there is one constant: they are each priceless to a daddy's heart.