And not just any dance -- a super duper luau. Right on, I thought. This will be fun.
But as we got closer to the big date, the Mama told the girls that probably none of their friends from their troop were going, and that they probably wouldn't know anybody at the dance. Then she asked them if they still wanted to go.
That's all we needed to hear.
As we got ready for the dance the night of, the Mama said to me, "Don't worry, they'll probably get tired and want to come home at 7:30."
"What time does it start again?"
I smiled. It was 5:30 PM already. "Yeah, I know. Bea is usually asleep by 8:00, so I can't imagine her staying up beyond that. Bryce is the one who falls asleep later, although she might get cranky."
"Right, but I'll bet they'll both want to come home early, especially since none of their friends will be there."
"We'll have fun no matter what," I said.
"Of course you will."
We were ready to go and the Mama gave us all kisses and hugs and sent us on our way. When we got to the venue Hawaiian decor, surfboards and faux Plumeria and Hibiscus were everywhere, as were dozens of dressed up Brownies and dads in Hawaiian shirts, just like us. We did run into one of their friends and her dad from our troop, which was great for us, so that's who we hung out through most of the night.
Before we did anything else, though, the girls wanted to take photos in the homemade photo booth area set up in the far corner of the room. And that's exactly what we did. These are the special moments we share with our children, and while immortalized in retro Polaroids, it's the visceral memories that keep our hearts warm and well lit throughout our lives.
Seven-thirty came and went and the girls were not getting tired. At all. In fact, they got their second wind and I was the one who started to wilt as the night went on. I hung in there, and when the limbo competition started, we all got in line, including me.
Now, not all the dads were that excited to brave the limbo line, which was probably smart because of possible physical injury.
"All the vertebrae in my back shattered just watching them do this," I said to another dad while we waited in line and watched the girls and even some of the dads clear the pole effortlessly.
"I know. I don't know why I'm doing this," the dad said.
"We're doing it for them," I said, pointing to my girls up ahead of us in line.
"That's a lotta love," he said.
"Indeed it is."
When it was my turn, I heard my girls yell "go dad go!" and I started the awkward and unnatural backward bend to clear the limbo pole. The tropical music cadence and the girls' shouts inspired me to make it happen, and I did, while all my vertebrae figuratively shattered along my spine. But I did it anyway, only one time of course, because there was no friggin' way I would've made another pole lowering, not in a million years.
As the night went on and I watched the girls run around, learn to luau (which my dad friend and I did as well), and befriend other girls they met for the first time, me and my dad friend talked dad shop and it was all so much fun. It didn't matter that we don't get dadding right all the time, because we sure as heck don't; this wasn't about how low can we go as the limbo mantra goes. It was literally about how high can we get on the fun, fun that took the girls to nearly 10:00 PM, way past all our bedtimes.
A high all warm and well lit. Amen.