Her dress was chosen and hung on a hanger with shoes poised beneath it days ago, ready to be slipped over her head, buttoned up, belt tightened around her slim waist. The pre-date ritual started with a long shower, lots of conditioner for shiny hair, and a good slow brushing of the hair. We watched you-tube videos as we did this, settling on a french twist up-do for the evening, with yarrow and chive blossoms tucked in.
She didn't nervous giggle much like I did during my pre-date ritual as a teenager, but was more fidgety, and wondered why it was a big deal to get all shiny before a date.
"why does my hair have to be just right? why do I need to get all dressed up?" she asked.
"You just do, for a date, it's just something you do." was all I could come up with. She just shrugged and went with it.
She picked out red nail polish for the evening, and I swept her eyelids with nude glitter shadow, and brushed the apples of her cheeks with a dab of blush. She wanted more, but I said no. It was already killing me seeing her with a modern hairdo and kitten heels. Lipstick was an automatic "no."
It is almost time for her date, and he shows up in a grey dress shirt, a tie, and a smile.
He takes her hand, and they giggle as I do my duty and take obligatory pictures.
She holds his hand like she will never let go, then turns and disappears into his car. She waves goodbye as I stand there holding my heart.
I sigh, put it back into my chest, and turn to go inside. I breathe and my breath is totally normal and easy. I can breathe as she goes on this date. This Father-Daughter dance of 2013. I know in coming years I will not be breathing this easy as she leaves for a date, so for now, I will hang on and swim in this easy breath.
Time will but take it away too soon.