My Date With Emily

me-and-em.jpg My life is complicated. Today, for instance, I went on a date with a woman who’s not my wife. We’ve been talking about this date for a while but juggling so many schedules gets complicated. We’d tried to sneak out yesterday afternoon but life conspired against us and things didn’t work out. Last night I got to take her out to dinner and the best part was my wife paid for the whole thing, she even went with us.

My daughter, Emily, is 12 going on 20 and her magical power is the ability to control me with a look or a “please”. She is a ‘daddy’s girl’ and unfortunately I’m a ‘daughter’s slave’. My wife both encourages and complains about this as she enjoys teaming up with Em at the same time gets frustrated with how easy a mark I am for my daughter’s plots and plans. And I know I’m weak. And Em knows I’m weak. When her mom tells her “No.” what she hears is, “Go ask your father.” Though I’ve got the tougher standard when it comes to boys who I would prefer to never even have to talk about again until she’s 30. That’s when she hears, “Go ask your Mom.”

She started Junior High in September, grade 7, a time when everything gets turned upside down. For a long time now I’ve driven the kids to school and for the last couple years I would drive Em to grade school and when I stopped for her to get out of the car she would always tell me she loved me and give me a kiss on the cheek. First day of Junior High I pulled in to the parking lot and before I knew what happened the door was open, Em was out tossing a ‘see ya’ over her shoulder as she slammed the door closed. No “love ya”, no kiss good-bye. I just sat there in the car staring after her wondering what happened to my little girl. If the guy behind me hadn’t honked I probably would’ve started crying.

Today we went to see Shrek 3. Just me and her. She was excited for the last two days, not just about seeing the movie, but to be with me on our ‘date’. As soon as the lights went down she curled up in her seat and rested her head on my shoulder. She suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, became my little girl again. I sat there, in a very uncomfortable, back pain inducing position for as long as she wanted to sit there with her head on my shoulder. For an hour and a half I listened to her laugh, groaned with her at the corny parts and snuggled closer at the sweeter moments. Today was a sign for me that even though she’s growing up, even though she wants to be older faster than I want her to, and even though she will probably never take time in front of her friends to kiss my cheek and tell me she loves me, she’s always just a date away from being my little girl. A sign and a wonder that will sustain me during the eye rolling moments I’m usually responsible for in her life. So today I write this as my stack of stones of rememberance, an altar to what has been, can be and will be again.


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
This entry was posted in Life, Meaning, Reflective. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to My Date With Emily

  1. Nathan says:

    I just hope she keeps excepting your offers…

  2. brianmpei says:

    Hey Nate! Me too! Miss ya!

  3. Rachael says:

    Awww.. I love this!! The picture of you two is amazing.. Em is beautiful 🙂
    I’m sure you’ve realized this already, but for some reason parents go through this phase of being really uncool for a while when their kids are in junior high and some of high school. Then, around grade 11 or 12, they seem to wisen up and have more relevant things to say. Weird how that works.. 🙂

  4. brianmpei says:

    Thanks Rachael, I’m counting on it.

  5. Yves A says:

    Hey Brian! Love your post. I can only imagine, that someday, I will find myself in about the same position with my Emily. Miss ya man. I’ve been thinking about dropping in on you guys some sunday.

  6. brianmpei says:

    Hey Yves, miss you too. Drop by any time.

  7. shelleyperry says:

    my advice? don’t stop asking even if she stops accepting. I think it’s pretty cool that she knows that you like spending time with her, and the great thing about Emily is that she is very loyal to the ones she loves. I don’t think you have to worry about losing your little girl.

  8. TJ says:

    Through all the eye rolling and sighing, the stomping of a foot and ”that’s not fair!!”, past all the huffs and puffs, the times ”Daa-aad” becomes a two syllable word, after all the rushed ”byes” and missed kisses…she will have a plethora of questions in her life…thank God and your love she will never ever think of the question ”I wonder what it would have been like to have a father?”
    Keep building your stack of stones….

  9. brianmpei says:

    Thanks Shelley & TJ, I’ll keep at it!

  10. Nancy says:

    Each and every girl should be made to feel like a Princess. You are a very special father to a very special young woman. How precious she is, and my she ever know that she can depend on you as the one man in her life she can totally depend on. I pray that it is so for all girls.

  11. brianmpei says:

    Hey Nanc, thanks. And she IS a princess.

  12. Rene says:

    Your Em is certainly beautiful inside and out!! She is lucky to have such a loving dad. If not already, some day, the fact that you told everyone in cyberspace about your “date” will mean the world to her. May you always have that “Special Feeling” for each other.

    • emily says:

      oh dad, i just read this now and it really means alot to me that you wrote this i will treasure it always.Thank you for being such a fantastic dad and always being there to catch me when i stumble.
      i love you so much dad and i will always be your little girl, always

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