a fall on ice, a fall in a river

Each morning Dy or I walk part of the way with A.J. and Tee toward their school. Earlier this week the sidewalks were patchy with ice. It’s been well washed away by soaking rains, including last evening’s thundershowers.

There’s not much A.J. likes more than trying out the stiffness of a puddle – the deeper the better. But these patches were paper thin and nearly invisible.

Predictably, one got the best of A.J.’s balance. Tee and I stopped and before I could bend down to help him up the tears burst forth. Not for physical pain, thanks to winter clothing, backpack, coat hood and an under-four-foot drop – just a wounded sense of safety.

Hauling him to his feet, as the tears kept pouring loudly, I tried to take his mind off the immediate with a story. “You should get mom to tell you about the time she watched me fall out of a boat and how I ended up flat on my back on top of a river rock.” It didn’t take more than that prompt to raise multiple questions from both kids. No, it didn’t really hurt at the time. Yes, my feet were still in the raft. Dy was in the same raft on the Colorado River and helped haul me back in after I’d been tossed out. Before too many more careful steps, I got to show them the tiny scar left on my right thumb knuckle. Then it was time to see them off to the care of the crossing guard – and the Lord of all learners and teachers.

Still learning a lot about fatherhood…along with being a husband, the variety of churches, human resources nomenclature and databases, distributing Outlook custom forms, information technology project management and working in a multi-departmental office – j