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The Dance This Dad Will Never Forget

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Dear Daughter,

It is 2:03 a.m. and you are crying. Your mom needs some sleep so I am getting up. I know why you are crying. Your teeth hurt. We already gave you Orajel and Motrin. Every time I give you a teething ring, you throw it on the ground.

You are just not happy.

So I pick you up from your crib. I try to make you laugh by making funny faces, but that is not working. I try to tickle you, but that is not a good idea.

So I do something else.

I start dancing with you. I have my phone in my pocket so I turn on Pandora. "Say Something" comes on and I put your cheek next to mine. You go between smiling and crying, which is a good sign. Then you lay your head on my shoulder while we slow dance to a song.

I never thought I would have a daughter. After tragedy struck in 2012 I lost hope. I was thrilled to already have a wonderful son who is amazing. We always wanted two kids. It felt like it was not in the cards.

Then when your mom got pregnant in 2013 we gained hope. It was the scariest pregnancy for both of us, but worth it.

On a warm day in August, you were born. A little girl.

You have all the good traits of your mom. You smile at the right times. You are stubborn and want your way. You behave in public and you already love your brother. You look at him with amazement.

I love your personality. I know that others will as well.

In a few years, we will go to some daddy/daughter dances. Although i am not a fan of dances, I will be excited to go with you. You will make it worth it. You will dance with your friends and dance with me.

Then when you get older you will not want to dance with your dad. You will want to dance with other boys. Boys that I will never think are good enough for you. Well, maybe one will be good enough. Trust me, there will be one. There will be plenty of "not good enough," but there will be one.

And you will dance with him. He will not define you. He will only compliment you.

That is a long time from now. Of course no one is concerned about that now. I am concerned that you are in pain. Just like everyone else in our family, I want to do whatever I can to make you feel better. I do not care that it is 2 a.m.. I do not care that I am exhausted. All I care about is that you feel better.

It is now 2:21 a.m.. Your head is on my shoulder and you are asleep. I am not sure what song is on right now. Your little tear is on my shoulder, but you are calm. Our dance is over and now I put you back into your crib.

I thank you for the dance tonight. I know it is late and you fell asleep during it, but it was worth it.

Because I will need all the practice I can when I dance with you at your wedding in 30 years.

And know that I will do whatever I can in life to make sure that your pain is limited.



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