Opinion: Daddy’s time

Feb. 14 was a special day to celebrate my love with my wife, but Feb. 6 was a time for me and my daughter, Caroline, as the two of us attended the Ardsley Management Daddy Daughter Dance held by Hamilton County Parks and Recreation at Cool Creek Park in Westfield.

This was my first daddy-daughter dance as a reporter or a participant, and from our experience it will definitely not be our last. Even my daughter, who is just 2½, knew it was a special event. We got her dressed up and I shaved off my winterish beard and broke out a black suit.

She was greeted by smiling volunteers handing her a carnation of her color choice and a treat bag. Once inside she was running from station to station to create foam photo frames, enter raffles and guessing games, devour sweet treats at the food table (like only dad would allow) and then hit the dance floor, which she had to be pried away from to allow a photo of the two of us.

HCPR Resource Development Specialist Don Nicholls said roughly 130 guests attended the dances. I talked with many fathers and learned that for most this was an annual tradition – and it was easy to see why. The dance was a special time for fathers to reserve high-quality time with their daughter(s). Nicholls probably summed it up best by saying, “We live in an age when the demands of life extract so much time and energy from responsible parents, that an event like this becomes all the more desirable … and memorable.”

Nicholls said most of the HCPR staff is moms and dads and for that reason, the dances are near and dear to their hearts.

“We are fortunate enough to witness very special memories being made – right before our eyes and over the course of years,” he said. “We feel privileged to be able to offer this opportunity to the community we serve.”

It’s also an opportunity to let our hair down. We could be silly on the dance floor because many of the other dads there were doing the same to make their children smile. The whole purpose was to show our children just how much they mean to us.