After discovering I was going to be a dad, I wasnt jumping for joy like male characters in soap operas.
Chad and Ethan from NBCs Passions comes to mind.
No. I wasnt exactly thrilled. But as the years have ticked by since witnessing my sons birth and holding him in my arms, I find myself enjoying fatherhood more each day.
I think the rapper Bushwick Bill put it best once you give life, life is bigger than yours.
I recently had this same conversation with another dad, Bruce Michael Reese Farmer.
Farmer is a DJ for Foxy 107.1 FM and being daddy is his most important job one he wouldnt trade for anything.
As a dad, he values his close relationship with 14-year-old daughter, Lauren.
In honor of fatherly duties, in recent years Farmer has put together a father/daughter dance during Fathers Day weekend.
He calls the concept a God idea because it came from nowhere.
Once I did it, I started hearing about other father-daughter dances like one in Atlanta by another DJ and another in Raleigh, he said.
Not about dancing but bonding, the fourth annual Dance with my Father event will be this Fathers Day weekend in NCCUs Alphonso Elder Student Union.
In addition to dancing, the event includes food, games and other activities like pool and ping-pong. While the event at Raleighs Marbles Museum is so heavily attended that people are often turned away, Farmer said Durhams dance sees about 200 people.
Folks come from miles around to attend, including soldiers from Fayetteville.
One soldier has a son and two daughters and gets deployed often, Farmer said. He always has things to do with his son but not with his daughters, so the dance is perfect and he keeps coming back.
Several local sponsors believe in the dances mission. Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, Edible Arrangements and graphic design and marketing business Privmadia Creative are all sponsors. The dance has also received the support of Durhams firefighters and police officers.
This years function includes a fundraiser with Hillside High Schools marching band. Some of the money raised will go back to the schools band program.
Activities at the dance include a necktie contest in which couples are judged on the best tied tie in less than three minutes. There are also trivia games testing how well couples know each other.
Its like the dating game, Farmer told me. We ask questions like what was your fathers first loves name?
The dance isnt just for dads with young daughters. Last year fathers came with daughters well into their 40s dancing in the Soul Train line.
Many times mothers buy tickets for fathers as Fathers Day gifts, and Farmer tells dads to not take daughters for granted.
Dont wait until your daughters are married to dance with them, he said. Have that time now.
Its a bonding moment and a teaching moment.
Farmer said one of the most emotional moments every year is near the dances end when during the rose ceremony fathers pledge to be the best father possible. Afterward everyone dances to Luther Vandrosss classic Dance with My Father.
Theres not a dry eye in the room, Farmer said.
This years Dance with my Father Fathers Day dance will be held Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m.
Advanced tickets are $25 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter. Door tickets are $30 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter. Prices cover entry, complimentary photo and food.
For tickets or to learn more visit dancewithmyfather.com
A couple of weeks ago in the Durham News, Tracie Fellers wrote a touching column about measuring the relationship with her father in love.
Hearing words like that would make any dad proud of his job.
Farmer said once a month he eats lunch with Lauren at school. Her friends sit with them often and one commented one day that her father used to have lunch with her too but didnt anymore.
Maybe he thinks Im too old, she said.
Those words stuck with Farmer.
Fathers set the tone for the man coming to his daughters life, he said. The thing you think doesnt matter does. Theyre never too old.
Even with a son, I agree never too old at all.