I learned something today. My daughter is six years old and she has become my best teacher. Today after dinner she asked if we could stop the Jackie Chan spy movie we were watching and if we could instead play something. I started to answer with my generic, “not right now baby” then followed by some also generic excuse as to why. But this time I thought about it for a moment. “Why not”, I wondered. What has changed in my relationship with my daughter that now I suddenly can’t justify a few moments of playtime. Being that she’s six, this is the longest relationship I ever held in my life. Even though it’s a relationship of a father and his daughter, it’s still a relationship none the less. A few years back when she was four we would play for hours with imaginary foes chasing us and we would jump from pillow to pillow jumping away from danger. But now instead of setting off on a journey I reply back with a generic, “not right now”. We also do the same thing in our romantic relationships, suddenly growing comfortable with our own routines but very rarely does the other half of the relationship follow the same sense of comfort. So sometimes we need to get out and dance to shake things up a little bit. A few weekends ago I was out in California visiting my girlfriend and the opportunity to go out dancing came up by an invite from one of her high school friends. Honestly I dreaded the idea of dancing and to do it in front of her (she had never seen me dance before) made the whole vision even worse. But when she asked me with that glitter of excitement in her eye, how could I say no. So the moment came up when we got up from our chairs and headed out to the dance floor. I proceeded to attempt to dance. I went way out of my comfort zone and at the end of the night I was glad I did because we had a great time. I don’t know if she realized I was out of my comfort zone or how hard it was to get on that dance floor. Honestly I didn’t do it for her, I did it for us. You have to get out there some time where you don’t feel very safe, where you’re not familiar with the territory. Go out shopping with your partner, go to a concert with them, dancing, the museum, somewhere you wouldn’t normally go. But don’t do it for the reason of getting acknowledgement because then it loses its genuine appeal. Do it for both of you because you need to shake things up sometimes. So as my daughter looked up to me awaiting my response, I answered, “yes we can play for a lil bit”. Moments later I sat in an imaginary restaurant as my daughter served me a bowl of sunflower seeds, with quarters and jewelry mixed in (I was pretending that is was a special soup that became alive and tried to kill us). It was OK that she went to bed a little past her bed time tonight. After all, the days of fighting imaginary monsters only last for so long.