By: Joey Uva
Shortly after Grace started kindergarten I went through the school calendar to see what events we could expect for the upcoming year. There it was, on March 23rd there would be a Father/Daughter Dance. I had no idea this was a regular yearly event. I guess growing up as boy and having three brothers it really never occurred to me there would be such an event but I was looking forward to it.
The week before the dance the theme was announced; it would be Hawaiian. I began my search to find Grace a Hawaiian dress. I found a traditional Hawaiian store and got Grace a dress that fit her perfectly. A few days later Trevor and I headed to a couple of our favorite vintage stores to find shirts for ourselves.
It was now the day of the dance. Grace, Trevor and I all dressed up in our tropical Hawaiian wear on a cold early evening after another rain downpour. As we arrived, Trevor and I noticed the posting on the school bulletin board read “My Favorite Guy Dance”. How great, I thought. No little girls would feel left out if they were not accompanied by a dad –they could bring their favorite guy.
We entered the school auditorium to see over a hundred dads (or, favorite guys) and daughters. The first item of business was to get in line for some Hawaiian-style pizza. Grace saw one of her classmates who joined us as we sat there eating our pizza and listening to music being played by the D.J. Grace wanted to look around to see if any of her other classmates were there. Each time she spotted a girl she knew, she would make sure we knew her name and she would introduced us. The dance included a Hula Hoop contest. Apparently some of the girls had been practicing at recess because they were really good, it was fun to watch. There was also a professional photographer for a fun Hawaiian photo shoot followed by some fun father and daughter dancing.
I found it really interesting to see the interactions between some of the fathers and daughters. I have always been a people watcher. Some fathers and daughters seemed very close –daughters leaning against fathers while eating, holding their hands or just wanting to be right next to them. Some other fathers seemed a little more distant, not in a bad way, but just different. Maybe it was the independence of their daughters that led them to be more social with their friends rather than spend the whole time by dad’s side. Grace wanted us with her and wanted her friends at the same time. She wanted us to know her friends and be with them, too. We found this very endearing. I also found, as two gay dads, we were very comfortable in this room full of straight dads –no one made us feel uneasy or not welcomed. It was really all about fathers and daughters, this is where we all had common ground.
What a great night it was. The next day I thought about the Father/Daughter Dance and how I would now look forward to them each year. It also pushed my mind ahead many years, thinking about that “Father/Daughter Dance” that seems to be the last. That dance when someone takes her hand and she loves them so much she can’t be without them. I don’t want that to be our last dance, I want to dance with her until my old and tired body can’t dance anymore.