>What a difference a year makes. About this time last year five year old Danica set out for the Father-Daughter Dance at her school with her beloved Papa. She was a little apprehensive, a little timid, and not at all certain of this new adventure. And this year? Well meet Miss Outgoing! Danica was still the princess on the way to the ball, but a princess filled with a mixture of brash confidence, dippiness, and pure joy of being in the spotlight.
I bought her a new necklace that matched her dress and at the last minute, I thought it would be a wonderful memory if her brother Eric gave her the little crystal pink and white ladybug. I whispered to Eric that he could surprise her with the little purple box with pink ribbon. Eric and I made our way upstairs with Eric carefully holding the surprise. Danica was dressed and about to comb her hair so I quietly asked Eric to wait a minute. Like the wonderful six year old he is, he hid around the corner however as time wore on, curiosity overtook him and he removed the ribbon and opened the box to see what was in it. Eric and I managed to put the lid back on, abandoned the ribbon, and he delivered the gift to his twin sister with a pronounced debonair flair.
Danica was delighted. Eric was captivated with his role in surprising his sister and Nana was thrilled for the photo opportunity. Eric attempted to put the necklace on Danica, but the little gold clasp on the back of the necklace proved to be more difficult than imagined so Mommy K. came to the rescue and finished the endeavor. Just before heading downstairs, I hugged Danica and whispered, ‘’Take good care of Papa’’. She looked up at me as if I had no understanding of their relationship. “I always take good care of Papa”, she emphatically stated leaving me beaming at her sense of conviction.
Papa dressed in his gray slacks and Navy blue blazer came from the motor-home with corsage in hand, ready for the pre-dance photos. Last year, the corsage was a surprise. This year, Danica and her friend Jaden spent part of the afternoon in the motor-home and discovered it while looking in the refrigerator for something to eat . It really didn’t matter. She was thrilled when Papa slipped the circle of ribbons and pink carnations onto her left wrist.
Last year, Danica was a sweet, quiet little thing, easy to photograph. This year, Miss Dynamo was a wiggling, pose-striking, little Diva. Sitting still for photos was impossible so after a few tries, we settled for Danica and Papa practicing their twirls and steps. . . mostly twirls. Then it was off to the dance. Mommy K and I walked them to the car and I caught a last photo or two before Sir Robert and Princess Danica drove off into the night.
A beaming Danica and Papa arrived home shortly after eight full of excitement about a great time. When I asked Papa about the dance he said, “It was lots of little girls, jumping and jiving to music while their fathers sat on the sidelines. Then it would be announced that it was time for Fathers and Daughters to dance. The little girls would rush to the sidelines, find their fathers, and lead them to the dance floor. There were lots of smiles as the fathers dutifully twirled their daughters around the dance floor a time or two before returning to the sidelines to watch the girls do a Congo line, Bunny Hop or just dance together. The refreshments included punch and min-muffins, and there was a photographer to record the event for each girl and her father. .
When they arrived home last year, an exhausted little Danica went quietly to bed. This year, she pleaded her case for joining us in the motor home. Her “Please, please, please,’’met with an affirmative answer from Papa and she went quickly to change into her leopard skin pajamas which remind me so much of the book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are”.
The three of us headed out to the RV where like all wild things, Danica bounced from couch to bed and back, until I insisted that it was well passed her usual bedtime. Her bed was made up with a new quilt and Danica quickly slipped under it. With in a wink of time, her eyes closed and our wild one was fast asleep and now resembled an innocent, peaceful, cherub.
Papa and I stayed up a little longer counting our blessings. Click on Dance Photos below to see the pictures.