Saturday, July 14, 2012

For Braxton's Dad

I'm a little late getting this entry posted. But it's still a nice read, I think.

Father’s Day…(For Braxton’s Dad)
It’s raining in New Orleans this weekend. And I’m here on yet another Disaster Recovery assignment to help Louisiana settle their FEMA claims from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. There’s not much to do on the weekend when it rains, but watch TV, read….and remember. I compensate by mingling with the hotel guests, observing their family dynamic. And, almost without exception, I marvel at how so very much alike we families are. Road-weary dads are all lugging bags full of God knows what, while moms run herd on the little ones. There’s usually a bored looking teenage daughter with a cell phone permanently attached. And maybe a pre-teen son magically navigating the lobby with his eyes glued to the video game he’s playing.

This morning I met Braxton, a handsome and well-mannered young man all of two years old, though he looked almost four. I watched as Steve (his dad) loaded their SUV with the bags, cooler, stroller, and more bags, while mom Kelly set about making sure Braxton’s curiosity didn’t lead him too far away. Nice people. Talking to Kelly, I learned about Braxton’s age and about his soon to be little brother who looked to be about a month or so away from his debut appearance.

As Steve packed the car, Braxton was led by his inner navigator to wander around like little boys must. It’s a purely male phenomenon that boys must always be in a state of perpetual motion. I remember my own son, Richard, sitting but never still, with his legs swinging back and forth, frantically trying to move him…



But where he was supposed to be.

While his sister would sit with the immobility of the sphinx, Richard would itch, twitch, sprawl and crawl, all within the 18 inches of the chair seat.

I envy Steve and Kelly. This year will be my 42nd as a father. Forty-two years of summer ball games, fishing, chorus recitals, band lessons, trips to the doctor, and trips to the beach, and all of them were magical. I remember having the presence of mind at the time to say, “I must remember this moment”. Because I realized even then that those moments were flying by more quickly every day. But for Steve & Kelly, their magical adventure is just beginning.

Before they left for home, I ran back up to my room and grabbed a hardcover copy of my book, “For What It’s Worth, Love Dad”, and inscribed it to Braxton’s Mom & Dad. They thanked me and Braxton waved bye-bye as they drove away.

Happy Father’s Day Steve…

1 comment:

  1. Nice story Pop, don't know how you kept me reigned in all those years but I'm glad you did