The Good Father
Nobody– The Doobie Brothers
There is a ten year-old boy sitting on the couch in the other room. He is home sick with a cold that keeps him from school while his father works in the other room. Every so often dad wanders in to check on him and feels the struggle and turmoil caused by using television and Nintendo as a pseudo baby sitter. He doesn’t require constant care and attention. At ten he is quite capable of entertaining himself and dad can’t give up an entire day to play with him though he wishes that he could.
In between emails, telephone calls and strategy meetings he wanders over to the couch and grabs the boy in a giant bear hug. The two of them laugh and giggle at things seen and unseen. One big squeeze from dad and the boy attacks him with a foul biological weapon. The ten year old erupts in laughter and dad promises his revenge. “I’ll drink lots of milk, eat cheese and later on fill my belly with a giant burrito.”
The boy gives him a quizzical look and dad says “I am lactose intolerant.” Before the boy can ask what that means dad tells him that he better take his allowance and purchase a gas mask because the air will soon become clogged with odors most fearsome and foul. The boy looks at him and suggests that it would be great to try and set things up so Â that his little sister can benefit from the plan. Dad can’t help but laugh as he remembers treating his sisters with the same sort of care. They laugh together and dad promises that they will eat lunch together.
Moments later he sits down at the computer and prepares to begin writing. It is not a post for his blog but a paid opportunity and that makes him smile. Words are powerful and prevalent all around and there Â is something most enjoyable in earning a few bucks for doing what comes naturally.
Before the typing can begin his mom calls with family news. A cousin is in critical condition. It is unexpected and unclear as to what will happen. Another reminder that life turns on a dime and that our plans can change suddenly. The story reminds the father of five minutes spent not so long ago. These little moments that make up our lives swirl through his mind.
The father thinks of things, people and places and makes a mental note to fight harder to bend life to his will. There has to be a way to make it work and to change the things that aren’t. Sometimes he feels like he is so close and others so far. He has tasted defeat and known victory. Triumph and tragedy have made themselves known as well. It is all a reminder to keep pushing, pulling and tugging. Dad doesn’t care if it is melodramatic he will continue to throw himself into the breach and fight to hold that line.
In the very near future life is going to change again and some of them may be dramatic. Time will tell.
Soft coughing from the other room serves notice that someone needs attention. Now is a good time for a lunch break. Dad says let’s have soup and the boy nods his head. Time to dig in.