Friday, March 23
Dads and Daughters: A Remembrance, Book Review and Giveaway!
They hold their place in the files of my memory like snapshots saved of my younger days, the moments that I recall between just my father and I.
There is not an abundant number of them, I am one of four children and life was probably busier and more overwhelming for my parents than I could have ever imagined (until becoming a parent myself, of course!). But there are enough: Enough to know that he loved me more than I probably believed during many of those tenaciously tense teenage days.
I remember late night walks in brisk air where we talked...or tried to anyway, awkward bits of conversation seeking to create deeper connection.
I remember an afternoon in a canoe, on a slow and small creek near home...more talk. More time together. I distinctly remember him telling me my arms looked too thin. I bristled at the accusation and became defensive. He was right. He was trying to love me. I realize that now.
There was the morning, a real photograph to prove it, where I am wearing terrible stone washed jeans rolled at the ankles and big permed hair. We hopped into a small airplane that morning, just me and dad. He had chartered a plane ride just for us. At the time I thought it was kind of cool...now I realize the sacrificial expense, both in time and finances, that went into organizing something like that. He didn't do it because he wanted to, he did it to be with me.
Our relationship was tumultuous at times. Not for lack of love, of this I am certain. More than likely we are too similarly stubborn about our own ideas that often did not coincide. I was quite possibly too outwardly rebellious and he was merely trying to nudge me towards the right and away from the wrong. Perhaps his own lack of father figure also left holes that I cannot fathom, holes that exhibited themselves in ways he never intended.
Despite all of that, those moments, particularly when recalled now, made an impression. They are some of my most vivid memories, and I'm thankful for them.
I had forgotten about some of those details until recently...with a daughter turning 5 and the desire to create a bond, to cultivate communication now so that when things do become tense in those teenage years we have something to build upon, we've been thinking more and more about how Scott, in particular, can connect with the girls.
88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates: Fun, Easy & Creative Ways to Build Memories Together.
This is a great book, and more importantly a wonderful resource for creating memories and connection between a dad and daughter.
I have a WONDERFUL husband, who is a WONDERFUL dad to his two little girls. However, in spite of good intentions, the craziness of life sometimes gets in the way of us being intentional about spending the one on one time we would like with our girls-- especially dad spending quality one on one time with his girls (something other than throwing one of them in the car to go get gas and milk at the corner store and talking on the way!).
When I got the book I flipped through, looked at the ideas, read the intro and thought This is great! Because Scott has been so busy with work I thought it would be easiest if I picked out one or two of the ideas, wrote down the pages and just offered it to him with the book.
We set aside some time ( Tuesday night), created the space, made plans for Ella and I to get out of the house, and talked about what they might want to do.
"Here babe. Here's that book I was talking about," I said as we talked on Monday night. "I jotted down a couple of suggestions for you..."
To my surprise (and pure delight) he sat down with the book and started reading through it, introduction first, on his own!
"Wow, this is great!" he said.
He loved the importance of the daddy daughter relationship that the authors talked about in the Introduction. Even more than that, he loved the Godliness that the author's wove into the introduction. Thoughts like, "So may voices surrounding our daughters tell them what they're not: not thin enough, stylish enough, smart enough, athletic enough, not, not, not. A dad can communicate to his daughter who she truly is: a beautiful child of God who created her intentionally, has plans for her, and loves her with all of his heart. This message is conveyed through time spent together, where affirmation, fun experiences, meaningful conversations and prayers happen."
Scott flipped through the ideas and settled on #59 (all on his own...it was NOT one of my written suggestions!), "Your Daughter's World"
The gist of the date is that Dad picks out a small gift ahead of time, makes a snack and plans to spend some time in his daughter's room learning about all of her favorite things; dolls, stuffed animals, pictures from school. Scott improvised and started his date by taking Ava out for ice cream (that is the beauty of the book, it really serves as a springboard for you to be creative). When they came back Scott prepped some crackers and cheese while Ava was preparing her room. He had a gift for her, wrote her a note and went to her room to meet her animals, hear about their favorite foods, and listen to stories about her classmates from school.
We told Ava about the "date" earlier in the day and she was literally giddy with excitement all day.
The night was a hit; Scott enjoyed it, Ava felt special, I was so excited to hear about their evening after the girls went to bed, and Ella and I spent some time together (not sure if you call shopping for 3T spring clothes while your daughter tries to run away from you and climbs in and out of clothing racks quality time...but it served a purpose!).
We are so thankful that this book made its way into our lives and know that it will be sitting on our bookshelf as a potential tool for YEARS to come (the dates range in age appropriateness... the book description says for dads and girls from ages 6-12, but I would say you could start this as early as 4 years old!).
Even after we "outgrow" the book years from now, I know it will served as a foundational tool in having help to teach us how to create such moments for many years to come.
In addition to the suggested dates, each chapter includes some deeper thoughts for dad to think about and a focused prayer that he can either meditate on on his own, or with his daughter.
If you know of a dad with girls, this is a GREAT father's day gift to give him from his girls.
And here is the exciting part, I ended up with an extra copy and am giving one away!!!
To be in the drawing for a copy of 88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates leave a comment below. Comments will be open until midnight on Sunday. I will announce the winner on Monday morning. Yay!
(Note: I was offered a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...If you know me, that's a great deal!)