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Dad Vows to 'Be Present' After Receiving Heartfelt Note from Stranger

The note inspired this dad to post a plea to other parents: "Choose to be present today—even for just a little while—for someone you love."

David Rosenman note David Rosenman/Facebook
David Rosenman took his 9-year-old daughter to breakfast at a coffee shop over the weekend. His little girl was armed with a crocheting project to keep her busy, while Rosenman brought along the newspaper and his phone.

"This was going to be an outing not unlike others we'd had before," Rosenman wrote on Facebook. "While sitting at the same table, we'd do our own things—she'd keep herself occupied with something, and I'd catch-up on emails, organize my week, get work done, etc. Sound familiar?"

Rosenman's daughter, however, had a different idea this time: "Daddy, can you not read the paper or doodle or check email today?" she asked. "Can we just be together?"

So Dad left his paper and phone untouched, and listened instead while his little girl showed him her yarn project and chatted about her friends and their hamsters. The two compared notes about whether or not couples at other tables were on "dates." And then Rosenman told his daughter about the day she was born, watching as she chewed her breakfast sandwich and admittedly "melting a little bit" as he thought about how much he loved her.

"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," he wrote.

Before leaving the coffee shop, Rosenman went up to the counter to order take-out. He returned to find a note in front of his seat that read:

"I work at a school where many daughters don't have fathers & those who do have never in their lives had him watch + listen + 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 the teachers who are responsible for educating her from now until she graduates."

So, so sweet!

Rosenman then posted the note on his Facebook page. "This anonymous message was enough of a reinforcement for me, that I hope more people might be guided by its power and by its author's thoughtfulness," he wrote in the caption. "Please don't wait for your child or other loved one to plead for your attention like mine did—he or she might not... 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."

The heartfelt post has already been shared more than 10,000 times. When the anonymous notewriter came across it, she contacted Rosenman to reveal herself and the two now plan to meet for coffee. "The moral is not that any one of our stories is more moving, important, or newsworthy than any other," he said on the Today Show. "It's that our world is better when each of us listens, observes, supports, and loves. The woman who left us that note was doing all of those things."

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld