It was a moment of grace on a Sunday afternoon. My husband, Jim, and I were walking through the crowd into a Creighton U basketball game. In the middle of the throng on the sidewalk ahead of us, we spotted a little girl, about 5 years old, wearing a spectacular fluffy ballet tutu in game day colors, blue and white. Her special skirt bounced with her as she walked proudly along next to her father. I smiled at the difference in their sizes, her father a huge man, tall and beefy, carefully holding her miniature hand in his.
I saw that in his other hand he carefully held a tiny canvas bag—and out of the top of it peeked a Barbie doll. I loved the image of this large man carrying his daughter’s doll, unselfconscious in his desire to keep her happy.
As we passed them I complimented her on her skirt. They both smiled and she thanked me. “My mom made it for me to wear to the games,” she said proudly twirling in it. Her father looked down at her with such love then reached his hand down to reconnect with her and I saw it. The fingernails on his massive hand were painted a bright pink.
This was truly a father, a dad in all respects, whose love of his daughter gave him the freedom to not only allow his daughter to paint his nails, but to wear them publicly with pride and happiness or to forget he even had them done. Father and daughter joined hands again, their nails matching in color and their joy in each other, clear.Photo by bold.as.love, Flickr Creative Commons