The next morning my daughter peeks around the corner into my room making sure I’m awake, grouchy bear that I am in the mornings. When she sees that my eyes are in fact open she rushes in and jumps into bed with me. “Mom, look what dad did.” And she holds out her hand. At first I’m not sure where to look so I do a quick scan of her arm moving my eyes slowly down until I reach her fingertips and there it is, her nails, brightly colored painted nails. “I know you say not to paint my fingernails, mom, but I don’t think dad knows that.”
She beams at me and looks so proud of her multi-colored sloppily painted nails that I can’t bear to do anything but beam back at her. Actually, I’m not feigning my smile. Any father that would take the time to paint his little girl’s nails deserves wide smiles, deserves the kind of love fairly shining off my little baby. I tell her she looks lovely. I tell her daddy did a great job. I can imagine the scene, little girl sitting in front of daddy, hands outstretched with the littlest pink nails ready for paint. He, so tall, dwarfing her, holding her tiny hand in his large one, takes the paintbrush and swipes on color. One by one, each nail gets their turn and she sits there still, sweetly waiting till he finishes, his efforts taking longer than they should in his inexperience. Yet, somehow these two who never normally sit still manage infinite patience for this, multi hued nails and a smile as wide as her face. I tell her she is lucky. She is lucky. I am lucky.