Last Saturday night, my family tried a new pizza place.
We had just been seated and were awaiting our food when a father and daughter walked through the front door.
The dad was dressed in a suit and tie but it was his little girl that caught my eye. She was around 6 or 7 years old and she was all dressed up. She wore a fancy burgundy dress and a matching bow sat atop her blonde curls. She walked into the restaurant holding her daddy’s hand, looking as if she was bursting with pride.
They sat in the booth right in front of us. The little girl was having trouble sitting still due to her excitement. A fellow diner leaned over and asked what the occasion was. She was thrilled to announce that her daddy had taken her to a father/daughter dance and now they were out on a “date.”
At that point, she jumped out of the booth and twirled around in front of her father, her skirt making a delightfully full circle of fabric.
“Do I look pretty, Daddy?” she asked, eyes shining.
Her dad smiled and said, “Oh sweetie, you look BEAUTIFUL!”
She clapped her hands, jumped up and down, then scooted into his seat, where she promptly latched onto his arm and leaned her head against his shoulder, a blissful smile on her face.
Throughout their entire meal, her daddy gave his daughter his full attention. He listened to her near-constant prattling, occasionally asking questions. She laughed often and every now and then would feel compelled to leave the booth to jump up and down and clap her hands.
She was a picture of sheer happiness.
It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.
I would venture a guess that that little girl will remember that night for the rest of her life.
It was just an ordinary Saturday night in a small-town pizza place. Yet, it was so much more.
For that moment in time, a little girl had her daddy’s full attention and felt like a princess. They had seized the moment. Would that more fathers would do the same.
As for my family, we too were appreciating the opportunity to be together. Since my husband works in Vermont during the week, we do not take our time together on the weekends for granted. Even routine things like going out for dinner is a special occasion. Time is such a precious gift.
Life was being celebrated that night in a family-owned pizza place.
And it was beautiful.