I will always remember the days of working at Bank One back in Utah when Sierra was two years old. Jon had one day off a week, and on that day instead of dropping her off at a day care center to do his own thing he would spend the entire day with her, and do whatever her little heart desired. Their "date day" consisted of eating cheese donuts at Banbury Cross, the playground, and the planetarium. And that was the beginning of what was to come next.
When Sierra first entered the faith in God program back in Utah her leader of the program held a daddy/daughter dinner, and when she came home her eyes sparkled, and lit up like a christmas tree. As soon as they walked in the door they were laughing and giggling talking about what had just happened and all the games they played. When I saw them communicating with happiness something sparked in my brain, and that's when I realized that he had to do this more often.
Ever since that daddy/daughter dinner occurred I knew that Jon had to do that with Lexie as well. No matter how old she was. I didn't care that she was three at the time, even if he took her out to the playground, or for a walk to feed the duckies at Sugarhouse park was a good enough daddy/daughter date to me.
I was not raised by my biological father, but by a single mom for the first nine years of my life until my stepfather entered the picture, but even he was not the greatest example. Thing is I didn't let my childhood trials affect me. I changed that the minute I saw the adoration in Jon's eyes when he took care of Sierra on the days I had to work on his day off. I believe there are reasons why I had three daughters first, and that is for their dad to take them out, and show them how a young lady should be treated. To show them that they are their only focus of that evening. To make them feel loved, and important. But most of all, to show them that they are to be respected, and treated like a princess.
For the past 15 years he's been taking all of our girls out on dates, and even though it's not every month, he tries to take them out as much as he can. In all honesty, I'd rather have him take them more on dates than me! One significant date he takes them on as soon as they turn 12 is taking them to the temple to do baptisms. I have loved that idea ever since. And no, it doesn't just stop there. On the days we go to the temple, I'll sacrifice my time inside the temple to hang out with my son, while Jon and Lexie do some baptisms. He did that with Sierra often until she moved away for college. Even at 20 years old when Sierra comes home to visit, he has always managed to take her on a date too. And he will take advantage of that opportunity whenever she comes home until the day she's hitched!
Father and daughter dates are the most important thing in a young girl's life. It will definitely benefit them in their future when it comes to making decisions on who they date, in seeing how a guy should treat them, and for when it finally comes to someone popping that big question to them, "will you marry me?" Marriage....Yikes!!
I'm so grateful for those simple days that Jon took Sierra out in her toddler years, but most especially for that spark that punctured my brain when laughter and happiness entered the door the day Sierra, and Jon came home from their first official daddy/daughter date.
My hope is that my girls will never forget the times their pa took them out on dates, and how well he treated them. Because when they grow up, and see how well their father treated them, they will want to date someone with their father's attributes, who respects them, and marry someone just like him.