Never Underestimate a Dad

When we first moved to St. Louis, we lived in a duplex with two tiers of concrete steps leading up to it. Killer stairs.

My friends KB and Mike came to visit with their three impossibly small children. Bridgid may have been nearly four. Jennie was two. Stephen was a babe in arms.

I can’t remember what else happened that weekend. We may have taken in the Zoo. Dined out. Drove around to look at this as yet unexplored brick city.

One thing I remember vividly. Mike put on a performance of dexterity and bravery that defied his well-known and humorously scorned thin ankles.

The family was packing up to leave. KB was at the back of the duplex, and was thus spared the mom-killing horror of what was about to happen.

But I had a front row box seat.

Bridgid, older toddler that she was, had made her way to the sidewalk, holding tightly to the railing. Michael, holding the baby in a handled infant seat, was watching Bridgid, but had not noticed Jennie edging toward the top step.

I had no stopwatch, of course, but I would estimate that this entire event took less than a second. I think it would make a great Olympic Event: The Dad Throwing Himself off the Grassy Knoll Holding a Baby in a Handled Carrier to Save the Life of a Two-year Old Who Missed That First Step and Was Falling To Her Death.

Because that’s exactly what happened. In one death-defying leap, Michael landed, caught Jennie by the arm without dropping the baby, and returned to the top of the grassy knoll. Even tiny Bridgid was impressed, her mouth open in amazement.

At that precise moment, KB strolled to the front of the condo, took in the sight of me with my hand on my heart, trying to put in back down in my chest after it had leapt into my mouth; Michael sweating like he’d run a marathon; Jennie ‘s little tear-stained face ; and, finally, Bridgid frozen in time in open-mouthed amazement.

KB said casually, “What’s goin’ on?”

We never told her.

But I have never, never, underestimated what a good dad will do for his kids.

I thought I knew bullies

When I was five, I found a kitten.  I dressed it in doll clothes, rolled it up and down the cinder alley in a baby buggy.  I loved it, caressed it, felt it purr against me.  My mother wouldn’t let me bring it inside.

In the morning, I found it hanging from the clothesline.  I knew who had done it.  I still remember his name.  Once in awhile I still Google it, just to see if he still lives.  He was a bully.  I thought all my life, that I knew bullies.

But I didn’t.  Not until now.   Now I know they are scared, insecure, cowards, cruel in every possible way.  Be careful now.  I think there might be hanging kittens in The West Wing.

Hope Hicks, Trump’s “Comfort Goat”

I Tried Being Tasteful...

From The Hill:

A nameless person on Twitter mused that the most recent in a long line of outgoing White House communications directors, Hope Hicks, never really has been a communications director, but rather her role was similar to that of the “comfort goat” placed in the stall of Secretariat to keep him calm.

Image result for comfort goat

“There, there, Mr. Trump. The Russian witch hunt will be over soon.”

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You never know

The other day I received an email from a young woman I care a great deal about.  I have never met her in person.  Only through her blog.  But she thanked me for caring about her during a very dark time in her life.

I carried on an email correspondence with a very wise woman I met on an internet board.  For several years, we emailed every day.  She sent me a present for my wedding; I made her a necklace.  When she died, I wept.

In the waiting room of my therapist’s office, I have met two friends.  I don’t know their names.  One has just completed treatment for breast cancer. The other is an Israeli woman whose husband got colon cancer last year and is doing well now.

My point is this:  you never know what you might mean to people.  And they might never know how much they mean to you.  It’s best you remember this on days when you fear you count for nothing.