Dad Goes on a Date With 9-Year-Old Daughter – Suddenly, a Stranger Hands Him a Note After Observing Them
One father reminds everyone of the importance of being present.
*Featured image contains photo by Samuel Cesar on Unsplash
Being present with your loved ones is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Actively listening to them, paying attention, and not finding yourself distracted by phones or tablets can lead to proper quality time together. And one father is here to remind us of that.
How a Routine Breakfast Date Turned Into Something More
David Rosenman, a man from Rochester, Minnesota, regularly took his nine-year-old daughter out for breakfast at a coffee shop on Sundays. He would bring his paper, and she would have her crochet, and the pair would hang out at the table, and each do their own thing while breaking bread.
One Sunday in 2015, however, they switched things up. “Daddy, can you not read the paper or doodle or check email today?” his daughter asked him, according to a Facebook post. “Can we just be together?”
The father wasn’t being melodramatic; that was her question. And he listened. He put down his things and started paying attention to his daughter.
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“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,” he recalled in the post.
“I watched her chew her breakfast sandwich and melted a little bit as I thought about how much I love her,” he continued. “I wished it hadn’t taken her past experience and her courageous reaching out for me to give her the attention she so wanted and needed.”
What One Dad Received While on a Date With His Daughter
Rosenman had thoroughly enjoyed his time with his daughter, who had opened his eyes to the importance of spending quality time together. He got up to grab something to take for his son, and when he returned, his daughter was holding a note that a woman had left for her dad.
“I work at a school where many daughters don’t have fathers, and those who do have never in their lives had him watch, listen, and devote 100 percent of his attention to her for as long as you did on one Sunday morning,” the letter said. “You have no idea what a gift you are giving to all of the teachers who are responsible for educating her from now until she graduates.”
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Rosenman shared the letter on Facebook and revealed it was the reinforcement he needed: sitting down and paying attention to his daughter that morning had been as vital as he had felt it to be. He also wanted others to walk away with that message for their own lives.
“Please don’t wait for your child or other loved one to plead for your attention like mine did — he or she might not,” he wrote. “Expect that no one will leave a note for you — such beauty in this world is far too rare. I invite you to share the gift of this experience with me: choose to be present today — even for just a little while — for someone you love. If you see it happen somewhere, consider leaving a note, it sure does leave an impression.”
How One Dad’s Post About a Stranger Went Viral
The post touched many people and was shared more than 11,000 times. In an interview with Today afterward, Rosenman said he believes his post resonated with so many people because of its message: “There isn’t anything more important than love,” he said.
“Each of us — even the skeptical, the cynical, and the pessimistic — can relate to once being a child and to feeling loved or not,” he continued. “The moral is not that any one of our stories is more moving, important, or newsworthy than any other; it’s that our world is better when each of us listens, observes, supports, and loves. The woman who left us that note was doing all of those things.”
He added that the woman subsequently contacted him after the post went viral, and the two were going to meet for coffee. “That new friendship will be an enduring gift of this story,” he added.
How One Dad Proved the Importance of Staying Present
We have to agree with Rosenman that this story is so heartwarming because many of us remember our own dynamics with our parents and wanting to feel seen or heard. Or, perhaps we have warm and fuzzy memories of our parents spending quality time with us, and we want to do the same with our children.
No matter what your past experience, the point is we can all show up and be there with someone we love today. It doesn’t have to be a child, either. Sharing a coffee or a drink with a friend or sibling, calling your parents on the phone to check in, or even taking your partner on a date night with no phones are great ways to show your loved ones how important they are to you.
Someone might not leave you a note, but we have a feeling you’ll walk away feeling pretty good anyways.
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