Saturday, February 12, 2011

Daddy Daughter Dance

Katie shows off her corsage from Papa this afternoon.

Katie has a strict rule about her Daddy Daughter Dance escorts: Her date must be a daddy.

In 2009, her one and only Daddy took her to the dance. It was one of the final days he was able to walk without assistance. (I will be forever thankful that Katie and Steve had that special afternoon together. And that our dear friend Layne chaperoned the entire afternoon.)

In 2010, sweet Uncle Greg was her date. Katie had specifically requested him just a few weeks after Steve died, months before the dance. (She has a bit of my planning gene.)

Jim loves his Katie.

This year, she asked Papa to take her. Jim arrived with a wrist corsage for his only granddaughter, posed for photos and then took her to friend Ella's house for a pre-dance get-together with about a dozen other kindergarteners (including Noe, who has been with Katie for every dance).

Then they drove to the conference center, where Jim estimates there were more than 1,000 other girls and their grown-up dates. After, Jim and Katie went out for dinner then came home to give Cooper, Betty and me all the details.

"It was awesome," Katie says.


We again enlisted help for Katie's hair. I can manage a side braid or a bow but not much beyond that. Erin, my and Katie's hairdresser, came to the rescue -- but not without some Katie-style drama.

Erin had envisioned curls for Katie. Katie was apprehensive, but we persuaded her to try.

Erin painstakingly curled small section after small section. Shirley Temple ringlets were all around Katie's head -- just the first part of the process. Katie did not like this -- at all. She burst into tears and was inconsolable for a while. Nearby clients, sitting with foil on their hair, held their breath. Cooper stayed buried in his book, trying to ignore the unfolding scene.

No one has ever cried under Erin's able care -- until today.

As quickly as she could, Erin shook out Katie's curls to reveal a lovely look. And Katie was pleased.
By the end of the appointment, Katie was on board with her glamorous 'do.


On the drive home from the salon, just before Katie got dressed for the dance, she asked: "Why do they call it a daddy-daughter dance when there are some people going who can't go with their dad because he died?"

Yes, this is the kind of question that breaks my heart and makes me cry while I'm driving. It's also the kind of matter-of-fact question that Katie asks almost every day.

Sweet girl, filled with her Daddy's love

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