Being a single parent isn’t easy, but Virginia dad-of-two Jason Garmon didn’t let that stop him from planning an over-the-top surprise for his daughter, Skylar, to show her just how special she is to him. After learning that Skylar would be going to a “daddy-daughter dance,” it occurred to Garmon that he owed his daughter more than just assuming he’d get the right to go with her, simply because he’s her dad.
So he set out to prove to Skylar just how much she means to him, and that he won’t ever take his role as her father for granted.
In his now-viral Facebook post — which was originally shared last year, but is making the Internet rounds once again — Garmon and his son Grayson can be seen leading a blindfolded Skylar to a special Pinterest-worthy, proposal-style outdoor setup he’d created to ask his daughter the dance in a special (and unforgettable) way. When Skylar’s blindfold is removed, she then sees her father standing there, flowers in hand, behind a hand-painted wooden sign that reads, “Will you go to the daddy-daughter dance with me?” In the final photo, an excited Skylar jumps into her dad’s arms for a big hug — and in the caption, Garmon wrote, “She said YES!”
If you’re wondering what inspired this dad to plan such a unique surprise for his daughter, Garmon explained in his post that it all came down to the realization that Skylar was “the most important female” in his life, and that she deserved the same kind of attention that he’d give to anyone he was dating.
“You [should] ask out a lady like it’s the first time every time. Always keep her guessing, always try to win her. I don’t care if it’s your daughter, your girlfriend or your wife, the day you stop trying is the day you’ll lose her.”
The post, which has been shared over 500k times, has received a slew of comments from people gushing over Garmon’s love for his daughter, and praising him for the gentlemanly example they feel he is setting — particularly as Skylar gets older and starts dating herself.
One Facebook user wrote, “What a special moment for a special little girl. Treat her like a queen daddy and she will never settle for less,” while another shared, “[you’re] setting high standards for whoever she meets in life, and that is so wonderful [because] she deserves it.” Others noted that Garmon was also setting an example for his son, too, with one user writing, “this young man is getting a great example of how women should be treated and respected.”
There’s no doubt that the gesture was very sweet, and one that Skylar likely won’t ever forget. As many commenters pointed out, not all little girls have dads who are so involved in their everyday lives, and certainly there aren’t many dads out there who would even think about “proposing” to their little girls ahead of a daddy-daughter dance. What’s most important though, is that you can see how happy Garmon’s surprise made his daughter, and the way Skylar’s happiness is clearly a priority in his life.
At the same time, it’s hard not to wonder if perhaps it isn’t time that we looked at loving, dedicated fathers like Garmon as more than just blueprints for their daughters’ future romantic lives — because they are so much more than that. So often we talk about how “a little girl’s first love is her daddy,” or make jokes about how it’s cute and protective when dads try to intimidate their daughter’s romantic prospects, as though the main value a father has to a daughter is to set an extremely high bar when it comes to committed relationships. But even if this marriage proposal-esque surprise appears to be a lesson in chivalry and “treating a lady right,” it seems that the real value in it was that, as Garmon explained, it reminded him not to take his relationship with his daughter for granted.
No matter what Skylar does in life, she’ll ultimately be better off because someone she loved and trusted taught her that she deserves more than to be taken for granted. But that doesn’t just apply to the men she may or may not date when she’s a grown up — it’s a lesson she’ll carry with her and apply in all kinds of situations. And let’s not forget Garmon can teach this crucial lesson to his son, too. After all, his relationship with his son is just as valuable and worth preserving, and one that he is surely already teaching as he leads by example through the type of friend, son, and human he is every day. More than good manners, or paving the way for their future relationships, Garmon is teaching his kids how to have respect for others (and for themselves) by nurturing the relationships and people who are important in his life. And that might just be the most important thing all kids need to learn from their parents — whether we do it with the help of a surprise proposal and a professional photographer, or just through the way we live our lives and treat each other.