Like most dads, David Rosenman knows how important it is to spend time with kids when they’re little, because that time quickly starts to diminish as they grow older, form friendships, and eventually move out on their own. That’s why he always jumps at the chance to take his little girl to the local cafe and spend a few hours with the person he loves most.
Usually, the two bring separate projects – the little one loves to crochet, and Dad likes to catch up on emails – and grab a table together. But one day, she asked her dad if he’d forget the emails and newspaper articles for a while and just hang out with her.
Her request made him sit back and think about the level of attention he gives to his daughter.
In Rosenman’s words, “Today, we were together. She showed me her yarn project. I recalled the day she was born. We compared notes about whether or not couples at other tables were on dates (she likes to impersonate people on dates — resting her smiling face on her hand and practicing a starry-eyed stare). She told me about her friends and their hamsters. I watched her chew her breakfast sandwich and melted a little bit as I thought about how much I love her.”
“I wished it hadn’t taken her past experience and her courageous reaching out for me,” he writes, “to give her the attention she so wanted and needed.”
After a few hours, Rosenman walked up to the counter to grab his son a treat before they went home. When he returned to the table, his daughter let him know that a woman left him a note. Here’s what it said:
This simple note made him reconsider what it means to be a dad, and what it means for kids to grow up without fathers. In that moment, he realized how lucky he and his family are to have each other. According to Rosenman, “This anonymous message was enough of a reinforcement for me, and I hope more people might be guided by its power and by its author’s thoughtfulness.”
(via Little Things)
David Rosenman wants us to take one thing away from this interaction: “Please don’t wait for your child or other loved one to plead for your attention like mine did. He or she might not.”
It’s really nice when people reach out to extend words of kindness without being asked. As far as Rosenman and his daughter are concerned, I have the sneaking suspicion that they’ll be having more father-daughter dates like this. He’ll need to stay up-to-date on what the cool kids are up to, after all.