Kindness in a dad is a very valuable thing.
I saw that tonight at dinner. My seven-year old granddaughter had picked out a wallet to give to her dad for his birthday. We bought it, she wrapped it in blue birthday paper and tied a white ribbon around it.
He opened it at dinner. It was a very slim wallet, a wallet for someone who wouldn’t want a bulge in his back pocket. What a person who pays for everything with a single credit card would carry. It seemed like a good choice to me since the last time I remembered seeing him with a wallet, it was one that was even slimmer. Actually most of the time, it seemed to me that he carried his driver’s license and five dollars in change in his pocket.
He pulled out his old wallet and unfolded its three compartments. He took out his license and credit cards, the buy 7 get one free card from Subway, gift cards, rewards cards, and slips of paper with addresses and phone numbers.
I watched him unpack and saw right away that the new wallet was way too small. I figured he was probably going to tell his daughter that the new wallet wouldn’t work, he’d have to take it back and get a different one. But he didn’t do that.
While she watched, he put everything from his old wallet into the new one, never for a minute suggesting that the new wallet was too small or anything less than a perfectly fine good wallet. He showed her a place on the old wallet where the stitching had come loose as evidence that she’d made a good choice getting him a replacement.
While he was stuffing credit cards into the tight new slots, he looked up at me across the table. “I always remember you carrying a really small bunch of stuff in your wallet,” I said.
“Well, I guess your boy grew up,” he said with a little smile.
I guess so.