Thinking back to when I was really little, I remember marveling at my dad’s strength. His sturdy forearms, inconceivably thick and solid, unmoving as I swung from them like a jungle gym. I remember his dark hair in my hands, like reigns when I sat on his shoulders, amazed at the great view from such staggering heights. Or even slamming into his chest after a running start, when we played football in the living room, (my stepmother just loved that game).
At night, he told the best stories in his low, deep voice while performing animated impressions with questionable accents. I‘d sit wide eyed and amazed as he weaved tales ranging from wars to football, and his own childhood. He’d get me tucked in, his face scratchy and his smell familiar. Saying goodnight, he’d close my door I’d hear the sounds of the house, the rush of bathwater or the swishing of the dishwasher, and most importantly the murmur of his voice in the other room. I’d fall asleep knowing that everything was intact and running on schedule.
And that's what hit me the other day when my son burrowed his nose into my neck. I’m Dad now. The voice of safety and strength. Our home is the place that runs on time and on schedule. It’s my turn to be the doer, the weaver of stories. My shoulders are the mountain now. The cycle continues.
I’m not my dad or my grandfather. But I'll take their lessons and strive to give my son what they've passed down. Their lives are worth striving for. My grandfather voluntarily went into prisons and prayed with the inmates. My dad has hosted countless telethons for MDA and raised money for all sorts of causes and groups.
Me? I amassed countless house hold records on Tecmo Bowl and Super Mario Brothers, I came in dead last in a Girl Scout cookie eating contests. (Lucky for me, there are no losers in cookie eating contests).
My credentials don’t quite measure up. But my son doesn’t care. To him, I’m dad, and my hand will be that hand on his back when he learns how to ride a bike. I’m the magician and it’s time to create the magic. Because that’s what my childhood was, magic.