I’ve mentioned this before, I think, but sometimes I take pictures for our church. I’m not a great photographer but occasionally, I’ll get lucky and snap some really cool shots. There are still some things I’m trying to learn about my camera and taking pictures; technical things, like adjusting the aperture, shutter speed, exposure. But it’s fun and sometimes, as I said, I get lucky and find that “money” shot.
Last night I felt a little like Ashton Kutcher from the wedding Nikon commercial, getting great shots (although I didn’t knock over any champagne glasses). That is, when my head wasn’t imploding with frustration trying to get those great shots. And I really wanted to get those great shots.
You see, last night I was a part of something few moms ever get to see. It made me laugh, smile, grin, giggle and even feel the sting of tears. I found myself watching my dear friends’ husbands and daughters and holding them even more dear than I did before because of what I was seeing. I was able to observe, somewhat anonymously, daddies and their daughters laughing and playing and being silly. Last night, our church had their 11th Annual Father Daughter Dance.
There’s just something special about a relationship between a daddy and his daughter. If you are a parent, you already understand that there are bonds between a daddy and his daughter and a mommy and her son. There’s just no explaining it. The fact that there were at least two scheduled Daddy Daughter dances last night (our church and one at a hotel downtown) is a simple proof that it’s there. (On a side note, there was also a Monster Truck Jam this weekend, for the Mommies and Sons.)
So last night I show up a little before all the other dads and daughters to practice taking pictures with my camera. As any place decorated for a dance should be, the lighting was low, with some stage lights (we had a DJ) and a few white Christmas lights for decoration. As people started showing up, I started taking pictures. It was very frustrating at first – little girls don’t tend to stand still – but I started getting the hang of it. The nicest thing about a digital camera is seeing the shot after it’s taken and being able to take hundreds (I took, literally, about 400 pictures last night) and just deleting the ones that were no good. I think I’ll be deleting a lot.
As the night wore on, I can’t even begin to tell you what it was like. I almost feel like I’d be betraying some big secret if I talked too much about what happened. Like it’s some secret society and the rituals involved can’t be discussed outside it’s members. I can tell you that I saw daddies dancing with their daughters without any hesitation about how they thought they looked. No one seemed self-conscious about it at all. They all looked like they were having a great time with their daughters. Trey tried to get Monkey to dance some early on, but she was feeling a little bit shy. It took her a while to get warmed up to dancing and, naturally, it was a Hannah Montana song that got them out on the dance floor.
The ages of the daughters ranged from about one year old and still figuring out that their legs can do more than just walk, to a mom dancing with her daddy, but I’d say the majority of the girls’ ages fell between 4 and 14. The girls were all dressed up in their fancy valentine dresses and the daddies were in suits, tuxedos that matched their daughters’ dresses and I did see one in an Air Force uniform. There’s just something about a man in uniform!
I’m so glad that I was there last night. It was something special and wonderful and I won’t soon forget it. I can’t wait to start culling the pictures I took and I hope I find those “money” shots of all those daddies and daughters.