Sometimes I debate what I’m going to write about because I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence. This is one of these moments. Tonight, Amanda and I are headed to a restaurant in Austin called Juniper. I’ve never been there, never heard about it, and am writing ahead of time so I can’t give you a review.
We try to go out to eat every Valentine’s Day, but this year I wanted to raise the stakes a little bit and find a nice restaurant to go to. I googled “fancy restaurants in Austin” to get a list of places to go. I started the process at the beginning of February, but I was already too late. Everything I clicked on was booked for that special Hallmark Day where we celebrate a martyred Catholic in the name of romance. Luckily, my wife doesn’t care about the specific day as much as spending time together, so we are going to dinner on the day before.
Enough about our plans for tonight, because I filed this one under “Dad Daughter Dates” and that is what I wanted to offer up. It sounds simple to plan a date with your kids where you take them to dinner, but it is a traditional date for us. Each February, I take my girls out individually to a Valentine’s dinner. When we started, I had big ideas. I’d wear a suit and my daughters would dress up. We’d go to a fancy restaurant. I’d pull out the chair for her, we’d order expensive food, and have our own Hollywood movie experience.
It didn’t work that way. One year, we literally ended up at the Whataburger drive thru because it was the only place my youngest wanted to eat and she wanted to eat it at home. There were a lot of tears and it is possible, though unconfirmed, that I may have lost my temper that night.
Earlier this week, I took my teenage daughter to Valentine’s dinner. I’ve learned some lessons along the way. I texted her on the morning of our date and asked her what she wanted to wear. I told her that we traditionally dressed up, but I realize that may not be cool for a 13-year-old. She said she was in a sweater and jeans and so that is how we dressed. I asked her if she had a place in mind or if she wanted to eat somewhere we’d never eaten before. She said that she didn’t care, BUT she had been thinking about Kerbey Lane Café (she’s a sucker for Kerbey Queso). Kerby Lane it is!
I said that I didn’t want to insult your intelligence at the beginning of this post. Taking your daughter to dinner isn’t that creative of an idea. You might have even done it for Valentine’s Day before, but it is a tradition we started a long time ago and it’s been a good one. By the time you read this blog, it will probably be past that big day, but mark your calendar for next year and start a new tradition of “Valentine’s Dinner with your Daughter.”