He walked in in the middle of Ian’s haircut, his young daughter clinging to his legs, her eyes locked on the floor of the salon.
“Does she need a haircut?” asked one of the stylists, and I cringed a little at the thought of a pair of scissors anywhere near the little girl’s gorgeous, shiny, brunette mane.
“No. We’re just here because she took something and needs to return it,” replied the man, who in a split second was no longer just a man, but a father, and a damn good one at that.
He nudged his daughter in the direction of the stylist, and gently guided her right hand from behind her back until it came to rest in front of her. In it was a brand new toy wrapped in plastic.
The stylist graciously accepted the toy while the dad watched his daughter learn a lesson he hoped would stay with her forever.
He didn’t yell at her.
He didn’t berate her.
In fact, he never left her side and kept a reassuring arm on her shoulder, knowing that as difficult as this was for him, it was twice as hard for her.
Which is why it was so important for her to do it; and he knew it.
He politely declined when the stylist offered the toy to the little girl as a reward for “doing the right thing,” and after a soft-spoken apology from his daughter, they left as quickly as they had come in.
They make mistakes.
Some of them will be insignificant, but most will not. Most will require that we roll up our sleeves and get busy parenting, especially when we least want to. I’m sure this man -who was still in his work clothes – wanted nothing more than to come home, eat dinner, and unwind from a long day at the office. But his daughter meant more to him than taking the easy way out, so he drove her back to the scene of the crime and helped her own up to her mistake and make amends.
It’s a good day in the neighborhood when you see something like that, you know?
This little girl was clearly mortified at having to admit her transgression so publicly.
And I can’t help but think how lucky she is to have a dad that loves her enough to have made her do it in the first place.