On Friday night and Saturday of this past weekend, I spent a wonderful 26 hours with the other girl in my life. That's right... this pastor has two very important ladies he lives with. The first one of course is my lovely wife who I even today enjoy dating and romancing on a somewhat regular basis (always room for more dates). The second lady of my life is my 9 year old daughter. Now I don't get a chance to spend long portions of uninterrupted time with her as like most families we go hard all week with our busy schedules. But this weekend was different!
This weekend, Emma (my daughter) and I went up to Camp Conquest for their Father/Daughter weekend. Now I will be the first to confess that my idea of fun does not include camp or sharing a bunkhouse with 17 other guys. When I as the camp rookie get handed a pair of brand new ear plugs (I was offered used ones too...) by a merciful man, I know it's going to be a long night. It was!!! I never knew that much noise could come out of 18 sleeping men. Between the talking in their sleep, snoring and the many contraptions used to help reduce snoring, I'm sure we kept the wooded animals awake for most of the evening.
But, even with all that, my weekend was a blessing to my heart. The one on one time I enjoyed with my daughter playing games, shooting rifles, doing crafts, decorating cakes and eating meals cannot be adequately described with words. The best meal we enjoyed together was a candlelit dinner for two in the camp dining hall. We both dressed up and through the pouring rain headed off to our quiet dinner where I gave my daughter flowers and she gave me a card that melted my heart.
As great as all that was, the highlight for me was the hour of karaoke we had. To see the 39 girls singing their hearts out was a blast. But, the leader socked us dads with one at the end. We together as men would sing a song to our daughters (karaoke style) and he picked Butterfly Kisses. (Click on the song to see the lyrics) As soon as I knew what song he had picked, I knew I was done for. I tear up when my little girl isn't even with me, let alone cuddled up in my arms when that song plays. Now I know that us guys are supposed to be tough and macho, and I bit my tongue hard to hold back the tears, but by the time we got to the part of the song about giving her away on her wedding day, the tears were flowing. Thank the Lord there were other men casually wiping their eyes as well as I didn't want to be the only wimp in the place.
I'm still not a big fan of camping, but I left that 26 hours with my daughter and thanked God the whole way home for the joy of getting to raise a little girl. Emma, you have a special place in my heart and you will always be my princess no matter how old you get! I Love You!