My daughter turned 19 yesterday. She has spending money, friends and a car, but she spent her day with me- her choice. I didn’t have her all to myself, I was at best number 6 on her list of most important men of the day, coming in behind Niall, Harry, Zayn, Louis and Liam (the boys/men in One Direction). But I was the one sitting next to her, I was her choice to be her concert buddy.
I wrote a while back about how honored I was when she put One Direction tickets on her Christmas list and told me she wanted me to go with her. She said then it was because she knew I would sing with her at the concert. Jamie does not go to concerts to just listen. She goes to scream, to wave a glow stick and to SING along. She has always loved music and has a remarkable talent for remembering lyrics. One Direction has been the soundtrack of many daddy/daughter drives in the last four years, and we have sung “That’s What Makes Your Beautiful” together 7 billion times. Jamie even put together a Daddy/Jamie CD of favorite songs that she knew I also liked just so we could sing them together in the car.
So there I was last night, with 60,000 others (of which I think 59,000 were female), sitting next to my daughter at the Rose Bowl. We had matching One Direction t-shirts and a glow stick. Jamie screamed with the other girls (I tried, but it is not physically possible for a man who is not a eunuch to scream that high!), we took turns waving the glow stick, and we sang. Loud. She knew the words to every song while I knew the most of the words to most of the songs. It was a great night.
What I most enjoyed was Jamie being Jamie and me playing my favorite role in life, dad. To me being a dad means that sometimes you play with your kids, at their level, doing what they love. You play wholeheartedly and with abandon, not caring what others may think. What matters is the heart of your child, not the thoughts and opinions of others. Play makes memories and Jamie and I have built up hundreds of fun memories over the years.
Take time to play with your kids. If you are lucky, they will play with you when they grow up. You might even get a One Direction T-shirt out of it.
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