My husband and I have never been big on celebrating Valentine’s Day. There was a time when we had a super sappy tradition of “making the presents” in college and briefly thereafter, but after the kids came along we didn’t have the extra minutes in the day to brainstorm, cut heart shaped Valentine’s cards, or mold plaster of paris picture frames (yes, that really happened!)  On second thought, there might have been a reason it was a short-lived tradition.  But, once the kids took notice of the Heart Holiday, we resurrected a few little traditions.  We have a heart-themed day, complete with heart cookies, heart shaped cards, heart pizza…ok, that’s it.  That’s as far as this sappy girl can go.

But, one tradition that I have grown to love is sending my daughter and husband off to the Daddy Daughter Dance.  For the past four years, we have found the perfect dress, the perfect shoes, and curled the perfect hair—as much as she would let me anyway.  She looks forward to the date every year, a night when she knows she will be the center of attention to the favorite guy in her life.  And, even though my husband feels a little awkward cutting a rug to the latest Hannah Montana tune, I think he relishes these moments when he is that guy.

The Decatur Junior Woman’s Club is hosting its 5th Daddy Daughter Dance Saturday, February 12 at the Multi Purpose Building in Decatur.  Amazingly, the club manages to transform an ordinary cafeteria into a dreamy ballroom.  Christmas lights, white, pink, and red balloons, confetti, chocolate fountains, door prizes, and a silent auction are just a few of the many touches that make this one night of the year a night to remember for a childhood.  Girls of all ages attend the magical evening, from toddlers to teenagers.  Yes, even teenagers find their cutest outfit, pose for the camera, and escort their fathers around the room.  They buy raffle tickets and hope to win.  They grab a snack, and giggle at their dads eating a heart-shaped chicken sandwich.  The squeal at their favorite song, and drag their dance partners to the floor.  They dance the Cotton Eye Joe.  They do the YMCA.  They talk.  They laugh.  And, they take time for each other.

As couples, we are told time and again to take time for each other, to schedule date nights, to show our children the importance of our relationship as their parents and to each other.  And honestly?  I’m the first one to ditch the kids in favor of an afternoon movie or a social gathering where we can spend time as adults and as a couple.  I agree with modeling a relationship that requires work, time, and commitment.  As parents, I think the same logic applies to our relationship with our children.  I honestly try to spend individual time with my litter (ok, three) children, but admittedly, it’s hard.  It’s really, really hard.  I barely have time to get the laundry done, ever.  So, in light of our constant supply of dirty socks, planning kid dates…is hard, too.  But, this one evening a year, it’s a done deal.  It’s not too sappy.  It’s not too commercial.  It’s just right, and it’s perfect.

“All you need is Love.” –John Lennon