My daughter, Clara and I recently attended the Father/Daughter Self Love Beauty event at Garber in Midland. We had each been to an event before, Clara with my wife Amy went to a Mother/Daughter photo shoot. While I volunteered with Amy at the Teen Event in Traverse City earlier this year.

This though was a first for both us as it was just the two of us going somewhere together without our safety net family members. I could sense Clara’s uneasiness on the car ride over to Midland and I will admit to butterflies myself mostly for her as she is very nervous around others. She had questions the whole way; How many people will be there? Will there be anyone my age? What will we be doing? and of course the important ones Will there be food? and What happens if I have to go to the bathroom, will they have bathrooms?

Most of these I could answer and could sense her relaxing slightly until we pulled in and got out of the car. She squeezed my hand extra tight as we walked in, we were first to arrive Lisa met us with a smile and a hug. We were followed shortly by the other fathers and daughters. She was quite happy to see most of the girls were her age. Still nervous to talk she just kind of sat back and started to take in what was happening.

First was food which relaxed us even more and we got to talk with another father and daughter who sat at our table who were extremely kind and very easy to talk to. We even got to met Lisa’s Dad. After everyone had had their fill of pizza it was time to get to work.

Garber had a brand new Equinox pulled inside for us to see first hand how to change a tire and where to locate important items in the car in case of an emergency. The mechanic had all the girls come close and showed everyone where the Onstar button was and what it does, he even pushed it to make the call. Now Clara had known all about this button having accidentally pushed once or twice before, she just giggled when he asked what the button was for. A very nice lady answered on the other end and he explained that he was showing some people on what to do and what would happen in case they needed help in an emergency. She said that is a very good idea for everyone to know that and to have a great day.

Next was on to the tire change he showed everyone where the spare and jack were located in the vehicle, then proceeded to changing the front drivers side tire. Most of the girls even helped with this part. He showed them where to place the jack so it would not move, which way to loosen the lug nuts, how to remove the tire, how to place the spare on so it would line up with the bolts and finally tightening the lug nuts. The girls really enjoyed getting their hands dirty here and with the mechanics help everyone learned how to change a tire properly and safely.

With every bit of information that was given I could feel Clara loosening her grip on me little by little she was focusing on the project and not so much the atmosphere that at first had her slightly terrified. We then got to see under a truck that was up on a lift. Everyone was very interested in this, many questions were asked and the mechanic was happy to answer every question.

Lisa then called us back the tables where we would do a project with our daughters; first was a sheet with three questions for each of us and the other could not see the answers. We then shared the answers with our daughters and I learned that my daughter would like to learn how to play basketball because she knew that I know how to play. Without this activity I do not think she would have brought this to me just in conversation. We then filled out pinwheels with affirmations such as kind, great dancer, and amazing hugger. We also filled a pinwheel out for what we love about our community and Clara loves our library and our town Wooden Playground. We both had a lot of fun with this and it was great to hear the other fathers and daughters exchange their ideas as well.

Fun was had by all, the SLB ambassadors were extremely helpful and kind and the Garber employees were knowledgeable and patient.

Needless to say the car ride home was much different with a relaxed and informed young lady.

The questions were still there but instead of said with trepidation they were confident: Can we do a SLB event again? Can I help next time you change the tire? Who taught you how to change a tire? Did they teach you the same way?

Of course I answered with ‘yes’ to the first!

Clara and I will definitely be attending more Self Love Beauty events, and thanks to this event, we will be bonding over car repairs for years to come.