During the summer I get the opportunity to participate in large events such a fairs and festivals. In the winter I sit down and look through the summer schedule and proceed to book shows to where I will be each weekend in the summer. Many of these places, I have never been and it is always a treat to discover new towns in the area surrounding my home, Ottawa.
Living in the city, I sometimes forget how beautiful and magical my dear home of Ontario is. It is easy to get sucked into the rat race and forget about the slow pace that life is supposed to be like. This past weekend I spent face painting in a town called Lombardy at the 150th Annual Lombardy Fair. Lombardy is a little town nestled in between Perth and Smith Falls.
At the fair I met wonderful families who left a beaming smile on my face after our interaction. One story in particular struck me in the heart. A father came in with his three children while I was on the other end of the midway talking to a vendor. I came right over and asked the children what they wanted. Each of them pointed to a photo on my board and sat in my chair. Many of you who have seen my set up know that I also offer glitter tattoos and feather hair extensions. The father continued to say to the children "Get anything you want, sweet hearts. Get anything you want." The children took their Dad up on this offer and added all the bells and whistles to their order. By the time they left my booth they each had feathers in their hair, glitter tattoos and a full face of face paint. It wasn't that he spent a lot of money in my booth that struck me (although that was nice, as it had been a slow day) it was the unconditional love that he had for his children. They were a family of farmers and I know that coming to the fair was a big deal.
I listened to how he interacted with his kids and observed their deep affection towards him and towards one another and I know that I was part of a special memory that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Not because I am a decent face painter and because they will have a sweet picture to look at when their older, but because that picture will remind them of how much their father loved them. I wish I had gotten a photo of that family for my own smile file of families who I get to meet along the way. I will settle for this blog post and the warm feeling in my heart from the perspective of a stranger observing the love from a father to his children.