As the light from the sun hits my eyes, I jump out of bed excited for the day. While I am ecstatic for each day of my life, today is an extremely special one. Today I will be taking my lovely princess on her first date! Nothing could bring me down from that high, absolutely nothing. Do you understand how amazing that is? Being able to take your daughter, your princess, on her first date? Being able to give her a standard on how she should be treated? Being able to open her door while she jumps in the car? She won’t be my baby girl forever but as long as she is, she will be treated like royalty and will be expected to require the same from anyone in her future. I want it to be hard for boys to approach her because she understands what she deserves. In the midst of envisioning these thoughts, I decide to go surprise her.

As I try to quietly tiptoe to her room, baby girl is literally doing the same in an effort to beat me to the punch. We lock eyes and we both scream with happiness, then she proceeds to run back to her room. She literally makes me chase her everywhere, undeniably familiar to beginning of the relationship between her mother and I. I get to her room and she’s hiding under the covers waiting for me to come get her so I play her game. I began yelling, “Princess, where are you?” as I sneak up on her. All I hear is snickering and giggling. I pounce on her and tickled her until she could barely breathe (probably not safest thing to do. Don’t mind that).

She gathers herself, jumps on me and gives me a big kiss yelling “ Hi Papa”! I don’t know what it is about her saying that but it melts my heart every time. I asked her if she was ready for her date today, with no hesitation she says “duh” and points in the direction of her clothes for the day. I looked at her and smiled and told her that her mom was going to come in shortly to help her get ready. She smiled and pushed me out of the room.

An hour has passed and I am tying my shoes to get ready. We are heading to brunch at a restaurant Downtown, as I wanted to make sure her first date experience is a very elegant one. I hear laughter coming from my daughter’s room so I rush out through the back door before my wife finishes up. I head to the front door and began to knock; I want every moment of our first date to be special. My wife opens the door with a confused look on her face. I smile and tell her to bring our daughter out. With a smirk on her face she brings out my little girl and I choke up a bit as she comes to the door. My daughter is absolutely stunning! She has a beautiful lilac dress on with her cute diamond earrings we got her for her birthday. My wife decided to put her hair in a big bun showing off those big brown eyes that she got from me but of course. I promise you this little girl truly felt like she was royalty-which she is. I knell down as she approaches the door as I ask her if it’s okay for me to take her out on a date. She chuckles and says “of course silly!” With that being said, we get in my car and put our seatbelts on. We are now on our way!

Our car rides are always filled with random questions on why certain things in life are the way they are and questions about what is being said when I play Haitian music. Today however, One More Chance by Biggie Smalls starts playing and she begins to bob her head in silence with no questions but an inquisitive look on her face. Once it was over she tells me she loves the song so I begin playing more songs by Biggie (the cleanest songs I could find). I begin to talk to her about how he was my favorite artist as she begins to enjoy Biggie with each song played. It was amazing to see my daughter enjoying him without any influence from me.

We approach the restaurant while discussing the music until my daughter stops in mid-sentence in complete awe. Her eyes open big and wide with excitement. As we get to the valet, I head to my daughter’s door to guide her out-something I do for her mother till this day. She ignores my hand and jumps out of the car like she’s flying, such a tomboy. As I grab her hand, we begin to skip like two fools to the restaurant as I open each door for her. I want all of these moments of chivalry to sink in unconsciously. We get to our table, I pull her seat and she is ready to go. I try to walk her through the menu and explain everything the restaurant had to offer but all little mama wants is truffle fries and lots of ketchup. It’s her day so I choose not to fight her; she’s also been good these past few weeks so she has definitely earned it. We order our food, and wait for it to come out. “Daddy!” my daughter calls in excitement. “Yes baby girl?” I respond. She begins to tell me that she learned a new game at school and she wanted to play it with me. I ask her what game she learned and she replies “Slide”. I felt so bad. My daughter has no idea that I was about to beat her behind in a game I knew so well. I grew up playing this same game with my family. Before we can start, her food comes out. God saved her from the smack down she was going to receive on this date.

It felt as if I was enjoying our date more than she was. Being able to see my daughter enjoy her food and enjoy her time out was indescribable bliss. Taking her out on her first date was my main goal but witnessing her happiness is all I really needed. We wrap up our time at the restaurant and begin to walk out the building. While we walk out I stop her in mid-stride and knell down to talk to her. The last thing I wanted to tell her was very important. “Today I brought you out on your first date baby girl, did you have fun?” She smiles with the signs of a much-needed nap in her eyes and utters a soft yes. I smile as I continue, “ today I showed you how you deserve to be treated for the rest of your life, but it will be your responsibility to show the world how you expect to be treated”. She just smiles and nods then proceeds to put both hands up asking to be carried. I laughed as I picked her up to carry her out. As I walk us to the car, I think about the day she was born and smile. It amazes me how blessed I was to have this little girl pick me to be her father, hero, and protector all in one.

The boy that attempts to take her out on her second date in the future has no idea what’s in store. I shake the scary thoughts out of my head as I place her in the car to end probably one of the best moments of my life: My first date with my daughter.