For a casual morning outing like many others, David Rosenman planned to take his 9-year-old daughter to a coffee shop. She brought along her crotchet kit, and he grabbed his newspaper and phone. It was going to be a quiet time for him to catch up on emails and get organized for the week while she worked on her project — until his daughter spoke up. "Daddy, can you not read the paper or doodle or check email today? Can we just be together?" she asked him.
And with that simple question, their typical morning turned into chatter about her yarn project, a discussion about her friends and their hamsters, and thoughtful observations on whether people were on dates. "I watched her chew her breakfast sandwich and melted a little bit as I thought about how much I love her," Rosenman reflected on Facebook. "I wished it hadn't taken her past experience and her courageous reaching out for me to give her the attention she so wanted and needed."
While Rosenman and his daughter were reconnecting and engaging in the world around them instead of focusing on their individual projects, someone else was taking note of this simple yet powerful father-daughter interaction. Before the pair left, Rosenman went up to the counter, and he found a note left face down in front of his seat when he returned.
The note said:
"I work at a school where many daughters don't have fathers and those who do have never in their lives had him watch, listen, and devote 100% of his attention to her for as long as you did on one Sunday morning. You have no idea what a gift you are giving to all of the teachers who are responsible for educating her from now until she graduates."
Rosenman didn't realize at first what a powerful message he was sending to his daughter by putting down his newspaper and being present in their morning coffee date, and that stranger had no idea what a moving impact her simple note would have on this father. "Please don't wait for your child or other loved one to plead for your attention like mine did — he or she might not," Rosenman wrote. "Expect that no one will leave a note for you — such beauty in this world is far too rare. I invite you to share the gift of this experience with me: choose to be present today — even for just a little while — for someone you love. If you see it happen somewhere, consider leaving a note — it sure does leave an impression."