I thought I'd take a break this week from politics and share some more personal stories from the Davidson diaries.
Despite the fact that some people put politicians on a higher pedestal of expectations and conduct, I can assure you my personal life as a father of a 10-year-old daughter is no different than most other dads in the world! If you've never had a daughter, perhaps you should stop reading this now. It is amazing what a girl can get her daddy to do!
Let me first go back to when Kyndall (my daughter) enjoyed a Saturday makeover for Dad. She would have been 6 or so. Thanks to my dad and his wife, Kyndall received a makeup kit for Christmas. Since my daughter wasn't into makeup (and I didn't have the hair for curlers), that kit became her weekly Saturday experiment and play toy. I can't tell you how many times I spent hours trying to get cheap blue-shimmer eye shadow off of my face (I say face because Kyndall used it for blush too!) It wasn't unusual to have residual for days! For Kyndall, she'd just laugh and say "I still see your glitter dad!" Oh the things we do for our kids!
It was about a year later when Kyndall got into nail polish. For me, it was better too! After all, a little acetone and some cotton could wipe away the evidence a lot quicker. And by keeping Kyndall's work area limited to my toes, my socks and shoes could completely cover any evidence or residual paint. She could spend an hour creating toe art. I could watch TV in my recliner. What a plan! But even with the best laid plans, I did have a few embarrassing moments.
In 2009, soon after being elected to the city council, a late Saturday evening was interrupted by a call from the alarm company saying a fire alarm signal was detected at my business. I threw on some flip-flops and headed out to see what was going on. I met some of Neosho's finest at the door and let them in. The good news is there was no fire. The bad news is I'd forgotten about the pink toenails from earlier that day. I had a few stares in the lobby as we talked about the false alarm. I explained the toes and left it with a "gentlemen, this needs to stay between us!" Despite a few looks of uncertainty, one fireman pulled me aside to confess – "Mr. Davidson, I have a daughter too. I understand." I felt a little better after that.
Today, my daughter is now into pedicures and manicures. For Christmas, I took her and my wife to get a Christmas manicure. While the girls started their hour-long pampering treatment, I sat on the phone talking city business. When I hung up, I got a look from my daughter that I knew was trouble. Then came the "Dad, you should try a pedicure." Ah jeez – in the mall of all places?!? Oh well, I accepted and sat down to have my feet soaked in a bubble bath. It could have been worse I guess. Melanie got a good picture of me and Kyndall sitting together in our pedicure chairs. It quickly went to Facebook. I could see the headline now – "Mayor gets pedicure!" (I expect that picture to resurface someday if I ever pursue higher office!)
Page 2 of 2 - My last encounter came just this week. As I finished my lunch-hour workout at the Neosho Y, I went in to do my normal routine of a shower and a change of clothes. As I walked through the locker room, I caught a glimpse of sparkles from the floor. Then, in a moment of terror, I realized that Kyndall's Saturday pedicure was still on my toes! I kept walking, mumbled a few words under my breath, and smiled – it's just a part of having a daughter and being a dad! For me, I love every minute of it and wouldn't trade it for the world. Someday, I'll look back and miss those days. For now, I'm making the best of them – one day, one makeover and one pedicure at a time!
I'm glad to see the snow melting and the temperatures warming! This week's cold snap was enough to last me awhile. We have a council meeting coming up Tuesday night. If you're not busy, come down and watch your government in action. It starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall. It's always a good time!
Until next time: stay the course, keep the faith, and may God bless Neosho!
Richard Davidson is mayor of Neosho.