Last year we introduced a regularly scheduled weekly event in which Dad (that’s me!) got to spend an evening with his daughters. An evening dedicated to food, fun and film. Every effort is made to remove technology form our event, save for the platform on which we watch our movie, be it TV, iPad, or theatre, and we rotate our way through who gets to choose our activity or the movie that will tie us up on the couch in cuddles. The event admittedly took a bit of a pause through the Summer months, but now that school is back and routines have been re-established, Daddy-Daughter night is back and it’s a highlight of each and every week for me; Thursday is my happy day. With that said, and in credit to our evolving schedules as parents, business owners and a general lack of social outings due to age and circumstance, this school year has introduced a new affair into the weekly lives of The Beandricks clan; an event deserved of fanfare, pomp and circumstance. A social happening filled with grandeur, happiness and adventure. An event I am purposely, though lovingly, excluded from. I simply couldn’t be happier to see the advent of the one, the only: Girls’ Squad.
In every way that Daddy-Daughter nights are cute, full of love and laughs and cuddles, Girls’ Squad is equal parts all of those things, alongside a dash or two of exploration and discovery, a few pinches of celebration, imagination and learning, a few shakes of inspiration, and two heaping handful of charismatic excitement; when you mix all of these things together you end up with something epic, and what I can tell already: something ever-lasting. Today, their outings may include trips to the library, time in the park, a bike ride to Gran’s, or board games in front of the fire, but I can already picture them sharing some of the most beautiful, caring and even sometimes difficult conversations throughout the high school years, well into college, and through whatever future relationships may come their way. The bond our family carries as a whole has always been something special, but those we’ve been forging in any which way you want to break down our construct are equally special in their own unique ways. I’ve spoken before of the value that one on one time can bring, but seeing the relationship building between a mother and her daughters is something else altogether. I very much witness the relationship and bond that Alison has with her Mom reflected in what she is establishing with her own two, beautiful kiddos, and Girls’ Squad is only making that stronger.
I am confident that 20 years from now I will still have a strong relationship with both of these girls. It may go through tumultuous times and a stretch where we don’t understand one another, or that they don’t fully appreciate how hip I him, but I know those times will pass and we will reconnect through some common ground. The same is likely going to be mostly true with Alison and the girls’ relationship, but something tells me already that it will be different in all the best ways. She has a way with communication and understanding that I simply cannot match, and while they may gravitate to me for the tickles and magic tricks, to her they are drawn to meaningful ways to grow their evolving minds, through they are inheriting an inspiring way to evolve this world, and in her they have established a love and trust no father could match or ever, ever want to take away. I look forward to the experiencing the future they’re creating together, I’m confident we will all be for the better.
Sappiness aside, I know that ‘a rose by any other name’ holds true for most things, but seriously: Girls’ Squad, a name born from the mind of Nora, who very quickly articulated the most epic of titles that she could muster, instantly establishes what their time together will undoubetedly represent. Is there anything more perfect? It’s not just that this name is representative of a “Mommy-Daughter” day; no, no, this is something much grander than that. This time together represents more than just movies and popcorn, and their name lets everyone know it. Each week when their special day comes around, my instructions are clear: “Daddy, it is time for you to leave, this is Girls’ Squad time!” and as I leave the house, looking back on whatever it is that they are setting up or getting into, I smile and revel in knowing that everything they are doing, practicing and experiencing, they are learning from the best. Plus, a part of me can only assume they are making lovely gifts to surprise me with when I get home, so that’s pretty awesome.
On the flip side of all of that, I’m also grateful for being ‘forced’ out of the house. Even now, as I sit here in the local pub typing up my thoughts, I recognize that this is the type of thing I wouldn’t just choose to do on my own. Surrounded by people far more in tune and aware of whatever song is playing on the radio right now than I am, I feel slightly out of place, but burying myself in the laptop, typing away at my thoughts in this environment brings me happiness and release that I likely wouldn’t otherwise have sought out. And even through the people at the tables next to me are either far younger or far older than I am, I like to think that I am contributing to some of their evening conversations…”Hey, honey, see that guy next to us typing intently away on his MacBook, do you think he’s drafting the next generation of dystopian YA novels, or Oprah’s next book club selection? How cool would it be if we got to share a space with such greatness?!” or perhaps they’re thinking: “He looks important, should I ask for his autograph?”. Sadly, no one approaches me, and likely none of them will ever read this blog or know that they were the subject of someone else’s creative output. Still, it’s nice to be here.
Quite beautifully, however (and not that I’m eaves dropping), but to my left sits a retired couple, out for a casual and random evening of wine and dine, their love established and obvious. Their expressions and gestures make it clear that they’ve been together a long time and they are clearly embracing this chapter of their lives, the two of them together at a restaurant, enjoying each other’s company . To my right: a young couple who expressed to their server how this is their first night away from their baby, so they’re on high alert for baby-sitter notifications; they order wine, they cheers, they celebrate, they smile through happily tired eyes, they breath. I sit here, both figuratively and literally, in the middle of these two scenes playing out, reminding me of the joy I felt in the early days of Alison and I, grateful for the butterflies I still get, and full of hope and excitement for the future I’ve witnessed to my left. That’s just friggin’ beautiful.
So, for all the above: Thank you Girls’ Squad, I trust you are enjoying your evening as much as I am mine. You are inspiring and giving all in the same breath.