Father Daughter Date

Recently, I went on a father daughter date with one of the funniest, handsomest and greatest men of all times–my dad Richard Elliot Hopson. I received two tickets from the Pittsburgh Culture Trust to the Tony Award-winning Broadway play The Lion King and asked him if he was free on Friday. We dropped my mother off with a friend and headed to the Benedum Center, located in Pittsburgh’s growing theater district. Ever since I could remember, my father and I got along almost perfectly. I think it’s in part due to the fact that I am my mother’s twin, even though she hates to admit it.  So, our personalities mesh together like peanut butter and jelly–the ingredients to one of my favorite songs my parents sang to me as a child. This night, I learned a lot about love.  My dad didn’t sing Barry White or recite a poem. He just, well, acted like my dad. Although he previously taught me some of the life lessons, our time together reinforced the words of wisdom he shared over the years. Here are the four things I learned.

Give & Take

For decades, my dad has picked up the tab for dinners, movies and even vacations. When I added more years and more money to my life, I returned the favor. But still, it was an uneven exchange. He’s old school and is a big believer of a man providing for a woman. If I asked him what dutch meant, he would probably think I was referring to the natives of the Netherlands. However, on this night, I was able to treat him to a night out on the town. Watching his face light up at the magic of Disney unfolding on the stage  before us  made me remember that often it feels even better to give than to receive.

Show Gratitude

Just because my dad doesn’t think a woman should foot the bill on a regular basis, he does think the woman should give gratitude to the person taking her out on a date. Perhaps she offers to pay for parking or tip the waiter. Or maybe her gratitude come in the form of words and gestures of appreciation. This night, my father thanked me in all three! He dropped me off at the door while he parked the car. He bought me a bag over overpriced pecans. And he couldn’t stop bragging to everyone how his little girl took him to see The Lion King, because her blog is gaining a ton of attention. He reminded me to appreciate men more when they take time out to plan an enchanted evening.

Accept People For Who They Are

On the way to the theater, I complained in the car about someone who shall remain nameless. My father, whose motto is to accept people for who they are and to change how you deal with them because they may never change, listened to me vent. He laughed and made a funny comment about the person’s behavior, which made me smile. But although he agreed with what I had said, he didn’t understand why I went on and on about something that was out of my control. He reminded me that when you love someone, at times, you must tolerate their imperfections and respect their opinions–no matter how absurd.

Hey DFTM Fam–What has your father taught you about love? What do you want to teach your children?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

3 Responses

  1. tiffanyfleminglynn

    Wow… Im touch speechless and in tears. I longed i still long for these moments with my Father. He was always a hard man an older Father and and a Vietnam Vet. His Dad was hard on him and by the time he was ready to love us back we were grown. Hes my Daddy and I never stopped loving him even though I said so until i was 13 when I decided I forgive him. No one is perfect and when i became a Mom I learned that lesson all to well. I had about six years of a dad that would hug me andvtell me he loves me or hold my son. He even told a family friend I was his favorite because I worked so hard. But I believed it was because I didnt give up on loving him. He gave me my first Camera, now I’m a Photographer. He taught me compasion for others even when their mean and hurtful or sick. Now Im working on a higher degree in Nursing. He taught me tollerence and patience

  2. tiffanyfleminglynn

    He has taught me to recognize what i did and didnt want in a man. He had a stroke twelve years ago. He has live with all his children at one point and cant speak clearly loves music and westerns. He couldnt walk me down the isle at my wedding but he gave me his love and Blessings. He hastaught me that love is unconditonal between He and I. Ti stand my ground and Love my Family my Country and How to appreciate food,cultures, people and music. And until this very moment I never realized how much of His world He actually shared with me. And how much of His legacy I’m shareing with my children. He has taught and past on so much unententionally and I will share his life and legacy with purpus and intent wrapped in Love and draped in kisses.

  3. Kesha Brown

    Girl, you better listen to your dad about #3! He is spot on!! We have to catch ourselves when we start complaining and going on and on about people’s behaviors. We can’t change them; only the way we deal with them, our reaction, and – dare I say? – distance! 🙂


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