It is 1 AM and I am back at the computer. If your grandchildren saw my face they would recognize that I am in that place we go to when we are fully engrossed in a project and don’t want to be disturbed. Lately circumstances have forced me to spend far too much time working and it feels a bit like all they see is the “do not disturb” look. Everyone knows that interrupting me when I am in this place is not recommended and you dear abba are responsible for that.
I don’t fault you for it because I know where it comes from. This is our “game face” and it is the one that we put on when we are working hard to take care of the family. It comes from the right place and I can’t fault you for that. I never questioned your devotion or your love for us. My siblings and I always knew that anyone who messed with us would have to deal with you. Today they would say that we always knew that you “had our backs” and that helped make for very confident children. We all had our struggles and challenges but we always knew that you and mom were there for us.
When people asked how we developed such fierce loyalty for each other I point to that. Â It is one of many examples that I can point out.
So here I sit at the computer with my eyes closed, headphones filling my ears with music and a parade of images floating through my mind’s eye. Â I see you as you were when I was in grade school. A full head of hair, tall and so very strong. I remember what it was like to wrestle with you. I remember throwing my ten year-old self at you with all I had and how easily you handled me. I remember being frustrated by it. At school I was always one of the strongest boys but it never mattered because you were always stronger.
I remember how my sisters would fight with me and how sometimes they would magically start crying when you showed up. Seconds before they were yelling at me and now they were sobbing and that glare would find me. I remember trying not to wilt under it. I remember protesting my innocence and the lectures. I remember you telling me that it was my job to protect them and I did.
Ask them and they’ll tell you stories about how I chased away the boys. They’ll tell you that I had too much fun running them off and they are right. I am a big brother, it is what we do.
Now your grandson yells about how unfair it is that his little sister doesn’t start crying until I show up and sometimes I fight not to smile. You knew back then what they were doing just as I know now.
Abba, there is a lot more to be said. I had wanted to incorporate I Call Him Dad into This but I ran out of time. So we’ll leave this as it stands for now and maybe I’ll revisit it later.
Happy Father’s Day.