Friday, June 13, 2014

7QT (Vol. 83): Memories of Fathers

My Dad
Maybe 12 years old, playing summer soccer. On the way home from our second or third practice, I announced that I disliked one of my teammates. Dad countered that I barely knew her. I knew enough, I said, I knew what she liked and that she was too into boys. You are making snap judgments based on one conversation. My snap judgments are always right, though. Maybe that's because once you judge a person negatively, you never give her a chance to prove otherwise.

My Kids' Daddy
On a walk because Mommy is overwhelmed. He keeps a careful eye on them as they careen down the sidewalk, one on a tricycle and the other pushing a child's shopping cart. He answers 49 questions, most of which are, "Why?" The walk back seems long, so he carries one of the toys, holding Anne's hand as she toddles along.

My Godfather
Arriving at a family reunion. I know everyone likes me, but it's still overwhelming. I sneak in quietly and stand awkwardly on the sidelines. But my godfather catches sight of me, gives me a hug, and includes me in the conversation. He is welcoming, giving of his time and attention.

Peter's Godfather
Another visit, at least 6 months since the previous one. Peter has again completely forgotten Ryan as a person, though he knows that name belongs to his godfather. Ryan sits quietly with him, slowly integrating himself into Peter's world through play. In time, the bond is reconnected. Letters follow, bringing Peter delight.

Anne's Godfather
Big world, tiny girl. Uncle Keith takes the time to show her the little things she finds fascinating. A leaf, sparkles of water, a bug. The outdoors is more engaging because of this special attention. At home, she points to his picture on the wall and babbles in excitement.

My Father-in-Law
An extra full-size bed. He offers it to us, but we don't need it. A friend could use it, though. From 100 miles away, he packs the mattress, box spring, frame and bedding on his trailer. He drives it out, delivering it to a family he has never met. It was an excuse to see the grandkids, he says, putting them at ease.

Thank you to these strong men and so many others who give fatherhood a good name!

Read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary

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