After all, for nine months moms nestle us in their bodies, lug us hither and yon, up and down stairs, and then as a reward undergo excruciating childbirth, while dads…well, dads assist by getting out of the way (pace, pace, bite finger nails, pace, pace) or by getting up close (“breathe, breathe, more ice chips, breathe, breathe”).
But whatever dads do related to childbirth, it’s not EXCRUCIATING. Period.
Still, our fathers play a critical role in nurturing us as your tributes revealed. Here’s a sampler: He taught me self reliance. He gave me a tire gauge and showed me how to change a tire. He taught me to identify birds, observe the stars, read poetry, love baseball. He gave me two wonderful siblings and an amazing mother.
Of course, none said all they could have said. And most of you said nothing. (If you didn’t, you can leave a comment today.)
Since this is my blog, I get to tell you one more gift from my father.
My dad took the bus to work. The bus stop was between our house and my grade school.
One day when I was in first grade, I was heading home. I didn’t know my dad was on the bus approaching the stop. My dad saw me running from a school mate who caught me and pushed me down. As my father stepped off the bus, the bully was about to pummel me. My father stepped in. The bully fled.
As we walked toward home he said: Never run from a bully. Stand and fight. Even if you’re whipped, it’s better than running away.
I hung my head in shame. He took my hand. After a few steps, he said. But if you’re going to run, run like this.
And just like that he bolted up the street, springing off his toes while swinging his bent arms back and forth, fast and furiously. Man, was he fast! (He was known to have stolen second base many a time in his day.)
I’ve never run from a fight since.
But if I have to, I know how.
See Paula’s photo (“Beauties of Spring”) on the home page. Posted June 19