It's my second-favorite part of weddings. (Second to the bride's grand entrance, of course.) Maybe it's because I'm a daddy's girl, but there's something heartbreakingly tender about a daddy dancing with his newly-married baby girl. It's the one part of weddings that always makes me cry, regardless of how well I know the bride (but oh, golly - if I know her well, I'm a puddle).
In those four minutes I danced with my Pops at our reception, my life flashed before my eyes. I know, I know. That's supposed to happen when you're dying. But as we swayed, cheeks soaked with tears, I remembered everything. Every laugh-'til-it-hurts evening we spent teasing each other in the living room, every well-deserved spanking that "hurt him more than it hurt me," every fight we had over Saxon math homework, every tank of gas he filled before I headed back to college, every fire he built so I could roast (burn) marshmallows.
As with most weddings, we asked other dads and daughters to finish the song with us. Oh, I'm so glad we did! Some of my favorite photos from our wedding didn't have Kyle or me in the frame. This one, for instance ^^^. Priceless!
Looking around at all the Pops with their princesses brought so much JOY to my heart.
^^^ Before you know it, that sweet girl will be dancing in a white gown with her daddy. For now, she'll dance in his arms and atop his shoes, practicing.
I'm a big-time fan of my Pops. He's one of the greatest gifts I've been given in this life. He's a teacher, a forgiver, a secret-keeper, a promise-keeper, a compassionate soul. He's the one who has helped me understand the love of my Heavenly Father. Dad has never been too proud to recognize his wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness, no matter how small the matter. My Pops refused to use the "do as I say, not as I do" parenting method (as did my Momma). Any time he sinned against us or in front of us, he'd humbly come before my sister and me, asking for forgiveness. At times, I didn't even realize he had done something wrong. Now that I'm an adult, I understand the impact of his humility - how it shaped me to forgive and reconcile and recognize how desperately I need forgiveness.
Dads aren't perfect. Mine certainly isn't - he'd be the first to admit that. And not everyone has a dad in their life. Some dads don't step up to the plate, other dads' time on earth is through.
It's no wonder God refers to himself as our Father. It's what we all want. What we all need.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. You have a tough job. An important job.
Thank you, Pops. And thank you, Lord.
^^^ The song we all danced to, if you're up for a good cry.
(Pardon the stock photos. YouTube only had so much to offer.)