Two days out of the clinic, sixteen hours of driving, overpriced motels and meals: $____(I’m just not thinking about it, and yes, I used MasterCard). The "Dad’s Weekend" with my daughter: priceless.
I’m not terribly keen on football, so when we found that her scuba certification conflicted with THE GAME, I wasn’t too disappointed. Instead, I drove her to Rolla, where there is a flooded quarry which is used for the open water skills testing. I got to spend a lot more time talking with her that way than I would have with the sorority tail-gate party and football game. Plus, I got to learn a little about scuba equipment (more informative than Jacques Cousteau specials and old "Sea Hunt" re-runs). There are a lot of parallels in teaching scuba and teaching rock-climbing and rappelling (which I do through Scouts). For example, you lay a tarp on the ground to protect the equipment and ask the students not to walk on it, and they do anyway. Even though there was a constant drizzling rain, it was a good day.
The evening activity was father-daughter dance lessons. My wife and I took several ballroom dance classes about twenty years ago, as well as tap-dance lessons. I can still tap, but I’m pretty rusty on the ballroom stuff. Once upon a time I did fairly well with foxtrot, waltz and swing. I’m not fluid enough for the Latin dance styles. Naturally, the lessons were Latin dance. We thought that some dads might be reluctant after seeing the instructors demonstrate (they were very impressive). Every single dad stepped up to the plate to dance with his daughter. We only learned four steps in two hours, but we had a lot of fun. My daughter and I were the most persistent, if not the most proficient. If she had a real partner, she would have knocked their eyes out. With dad for a partner, she’s just lucky she didn’t lose a toe.