Wednesday, January 06, 2016

 

Fatherhood Takes True Grit

A flash-writing contest entry I just finished.

The cries of an infant awakened me. I immediately slipped into protector mode. I donned my safety equipment and lumbered down the hall. There was no time to wipe the sleep from my eyes. I recognized the cry, and I knew the situation from my training.

Opening the door to my son’s circus themed room I could smell the danger. I slid the safety goggles over my eyes and pulled on the latex gloves. I straightened my plastic body apron and gently positioned the clothespin over my nose. My son was in trouble, and I was ready to help.

I felt like I was entering a combat zone. I confidentially walked to the crib, lifted my 10-day old out and in one swift move, turned to the changing table. Unsnapping two buttons and pulling on Velcro revealed the problem. My instincts had been correct. Off came the diaper, out came the wipes, and then I was attacked!

This time, I was hit by friendly fire. What seemed to be an air-activated gun began firing a yellow liquid at me, first hitting my ear and the grazing my arm. I used the wipe to cover and then ducked. This was the first of many brushes with danger during the ever-changing experience of fatherhood.

One week in, I was finding fatherhood to be life-changing. I was sleep deprived. I had not watched television for days and my wife, and I were talking in high-pitched sing-song voices.

From infant experiences to the teenage years, I've put on many different uniforms to meet the challenges of fatherhood. I have invested in the life of two children, raising them to respect others, believe in themselves, serve their community and love God. I've listened to them, gone to their events, coached teams, and taught driving. I've looked danger - and hormonal teenagers -- in the eye and lived to tell about it. That, my friend, takes true grit.


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