One side of the cafeteria at Goodwyn middle school was packed with 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls.  Some all dressed up, some in their school clothes.  All were wiggling and jumping and doing the kind of things young ladies of that age are supposed to do.

Across the room was a crowd of daddies and grandpas.  Even the Montgomery police chief was there and a number of his officers.

It was “Dad and Daughter Dance Day” and since the girls outnumbered the dads, I was there as a substitute dad.  And since my very own “little girl” will be 52 on May 8th and I know from experience how much girls mean to fathers, I was delighted to take part.

My “daughter” was named Heaven. No joke.  She even had on a necklace proclaiming such.  She is in the 8th grade and her favorite subject is math.  She will head off to Montgomery’s Lee high school this fall.  But we didn’t get to talk very much because as you might expect, she was engaged with two or three of her nearby friends.  And that was fine.  She was enjoying the moment.

After lunch the music was cranked up and we headed to the “dance floor.”  (Now before you double over with laughter, I must share that once upon a time I was a right decent dancer.  Just ask daughter Kim about when we danced at her wedding while Jackie Wilson sang my all-time favorite dancing tune, LONELY TEAR DROPS.)

But that was then and this is now and on this Friday about all I did was stand in one spot and sway.  But I was swaying in time to the music which made it OK as far as Heaven was concerned.

Principal Curtis Black and his dedicated staff made it all possible.  Before we headed to the cafeteria, all dads (real or imagined) got a flower to give to their daughter.  In fact, all girls got a flower.

As we put schools under a magnifying glass these days and care about nothing except some test score, things such as the Goodwyn Dad and Daughter Dance Day are never considered when schools are evaluated.  The squeals and smiles of middle school young lades are of no consequence.

This does not become part of the endless reams of “data” that are dissected like a lab specimen by those who say, “We are laser focused on data.”  To them, Heaven and her friends are merely data points to be crunched and manipulated

However, thankfully Curtis Black and his staff who worked so hard to make girls smile do not see life this way.  They totally understand the situations so many of their students face day in and day out.

I salute them for what they do.