Father-daughter dance, mother-son bonding

What’s a little girl’s favorite part of a father-daughter dance?

  1. Gloating to her brothers that she’s going to a dance and they aren’t
  2. Fighting with Mommy about what makeup is appropriate for a 5-year old (Answer: no makeup. Be glad that you’re getting lip gloss. )
  3. Having a special night with your daddy.

We’ll never know! It doesn’t really matter, as long as she has fun, right?

Mary is on a “big girl” kick and is absolutely offended by “little girl” things including, but not limited to, princesses, patterned leggings, the word “jammies,” and being picked up and held by her father for a photo.

Since she wouldn’t let Tom pick her up, he kneeled beside her, and per her request, didn’t put his arm around her.

In the past I’ve taken David to Target on the night of the father-daughter dance, but with two sick siblings at home that didn’t work this year. I promised him that we’d have some special time later, but I could tell he was disappointed.

These past few weeks seem to be full of “special things” for everyone but David. Thomas has pajama day, Mary’s class has “play day,” and then there’s baby sister who gets literally everything she wants.

When Mary came home with the class pet, David was sad that he’s outgrown that activity. I explained that it was just for kindergarteners, and he very thoughtfully responded, “But I’m just in first grade.”


With four children in our family, Tom and I know that we have to be intentional about giving our kids individual attention while also caring for our family as a whole. No matter how hard we try, there will be disappointments. Whether real or perceived, inequity will always be part of the challenge of growing up with siblings. The scale will almost always be unbalanced. (As a middle child, I’m an expert in keeping track of The Scale. You’re welcome, Mom and Dad.)

As parents, it’s our job to allow them to feel their emotions, remind them that we love them, and help them to know that their longing to be loved and known completely is met in the person of Jesus Christ.


After Tom and Mary left, I told David that we would have a special mother-son night, just the two of us. The plan was to go through our bedtime routine for the younger two, and after Thomas fell asleep David could sneak downstairs (Thomas and David share a room, so David had to pretend to go to bed so that Thomas would, too).

While I put Anna down, David read Thomas a bedtime story, and then got in bed. I turned out the lights, and part of me wondered if David would accidentally fall asleep while he was waiting. But when I went upstairs to get him, his eyes were as wide as saucers, and he was practically shaking with excitement.

We went downstairs and let him have a ginger ale (his choice) and pick a show. We sat together under a blanket and drank ginger ale together and watched a weird Pac-Man cartoon.

I’ll be honest, we didn’t have any of the mother-son banter I’d imagined. He was engrossed in the TV, and most of the time it seemed like he didn’t even know I was there.

But also, I know he knew I was there.



  1. Mary February 11, 2019

    It’s the little things that count when you get one on one with your children.

  2. Gayle Ann February 12, 2019

    Does the school do a mother-son night? The school my niece and nephew attended had the dance, which always had a theme, and the mother-son event is always attending a baseball game. I have to say, I would have prefered the baseball game to the dance, but I understand their effort to provide a special evening/event.

    • Amanda February 12, 2019

      That’s a good idea! The dance we normally go to is done by our church, but they only do it every other year so this was an “off” year, and Tom and some of his friends took the girls to a dance at a local YMCA. Our church is open to doing a mother-son event, and asks for input/help, but I’m not able to volunteer (yet! maybe next year!)

      • Gayle Ann February 12, 2019

        Think how little work a baseball event would be. Collecting money and purchasing the tickets would be it, and, possibly carpooling. No decorating. No food to make. NO CLEAN-UP.

        Is there a minor league team in your area? It doesn’t have to be an expensive major league team, although, the bleacher seats are usually a decent price. But, the minor league teams usually have more “entertainment” in terms of giveaways, mascot antics, etc. Or, a team from an independent league, which are also cheaper and more entertaining. My alumni club did a MLB event, and it included a pre-game picnic in the price of the tickets.

        If you have a nearby drive-in theater, suggest your church select a week-end night when they are showing a kid’s movie. You could either do a modified tailgate event, or a picnic if they have a picnic area. It would be a fun family activity.

        The pool on post has a float-in each year around the 4th. They host a BBQ and games. Then, there is 10 minutes of the worst whining and crying you’ve ever heard, as each child is sure they are not going to get an tube/raft on which to watch the movie. Each child receives one, the movie starts, and 10 minutes after it starts, 3/4 of the kids, who were having meltdowns 15 minutes prior, have are out of the water, with their parents in the lounge chairs, wrapped in towels, as they learn that sitting in a tube can be a chilly experience. It is their biggest event of the summer. They sell out of tickets, and people love it.

        • Amanda February 13, 2019

          yes, we have a minor team in richmond! it is a great idea, i really agree. hopefully in the future the moms can get together and come up with something fun!

  3. Bethany February 12, 2019

    How sweet! What a great family night. Good job, mama. 🙂

  4. Kisha Stewart-Harris February 13, 2019

    Awww, how precious. Your little girl looked both adorable and on cloud nine! Seeing my daughters with their dad is one of the most amazing things I’ve been honored to witness, so I know the feeling you felt as a mom to witness this. I’m glad your daughter has such an awesome dad!

  5. Gayle Ann February 13, 2019

    Did they have a good time?


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