Dad Misses Father-Daughter Dance, But Makes Sure It's Still Magical For His Daughter

"As soon as she saw him in the hallway of her school her whole face lit up."

Christopher Nelson is a contractor for the U.S. Army, and is currently in Afghanistan for a year-long stay. When he found out his 5-year-old, Gracee Nelson, had a father-daughter dance coming up at her school in El Paso, Texas, he was sad he would have to miss it. 

"He was just as heartbroken as my daughter," his wife, Lanya Nelson, told A Plus. "This would have been their first father-daughter dance together." 

Christopher wanted the dance to be special for Gracee despite his absence, so he and Lanya worked together to make sure it would be.


Courtesy of Lanya Nelson

At first, Christopher and Lanya tried to get a grandfather or uncle to go with their daughter, but realized it would be difficult because they lived too far. "We were at a complete loss," Lanya said. 

But then they remembered the dance's theme was "Beauty and the Beast," which gave the couple an idea. They could hire someone to dress up as Beast to accompany their daughter as a surprise. 

They got permission from the school, as well as Gracee's approval, for someone else to take her. Then, once at the dance, Lanya revealed the surprise — and Gracee was overjoyed. 

"She couldn't believe it. She thought the real Beast came all the way from Disney World," Lanya said. "As soon as she saw him in the hallway of her school her whole face lit up. You could see how proud she was when they walked in the dance together in front of all her friends!" 

Courtesy of Lanya Nelson

Luckily, Gracee was able to FaceTime her dad during the dance, who was grateful that she loved the surprised. 

"After we saw how happy she was at the dance and how she couldn't stop talking about the Beast, we knew we made the absolute best of our circumstances," Lanya said. "We felt proud that we 'got it right' for our daughter." 

Courtesy of Lanya Nelson

Christopher and Lanya worked hard to make the dance special for Gracee despite the unideal circumstances, but they know they couldn't have done it alone. 

"The beast did so wonderful with our daughter. He went above and beyond our expectations," Lanya said. "We are so grateful for the costume character, the school for allowing him to come, and the event company Magical Moments for giving us the opportunity to not let our daughter down." 

(H/T: HuffPost


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