Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Pats

I have to be honest, here.  Lately I've been down on myself, mostly, I would guess, because of my stupid injury to my stupid shoulder which is making it very difficult to do all the things I need to do.  Oh sure, it could have been worse; it could have been my right shoulder, I could need surgery, I could have busted my head, I could...  I get that point.  However, my arm still hurts and is messed up!

The other night I was flipping around on the TV with a bag of peas on my shoulder.

On PBS I saw a man who lovingly crafts guitars; it was amazing.

On a sports network I watched, a nineteen year old warrior drive through traffic, down the paint, juke left, up, and a dunk; the athleticism was astonishing.

On another PBS station (hey I get five) there were three teenage tenors blasting out on a lavish set with a full orchestra; it was sort of mesmerizing, albeit a bit comic.

Then to another station where Sheldon "bazingaed" the moment I got there, it was hilarious.

I turned the TV off.

I was struck at how good people are at stuff; the craftsmen, the artists, the athletes, the comedians every one is good at what they do.  I couldn't help but think that I wasn't really good at much.  I am capable in many things, but not an expert.  I don't really know how to do anything.

And then I heard a voice inside my head, or heard a thought, or sensed a voice or whatever that thing is that happens to us at times.  It only manifested these five words:

"You know how to love."  The emphasis was definitively on the 'know.'

Here is a card Z got me for my birthday:

He chose this card for me at the store, I wasn't there obviously, but I'd like to think he agonized over the decision and found this one to be perfect.  He likes me as a Dad.

N wanted to make me one:

There at the end he writes "happy Birthday my Dad."  He claimed me and that makes me feel pretty damn good.

Sometimes N just comes up to me, gives me a squeeze, and says "I love you, Dad."  And just the other day Z said "Dad, you know I love you, right?"  An echo of the hundreds of times I have asked it of him.

I have two little secret codes (not so much anymore) between the boys and me.  The first is simply 'three pats,' sometimes spoken but more often three gentles pats on their heads or back or wherever.  It signifies, of course, 'I love you."  The other, when I am close to them, mid-hug, reading or just cuddling, I whisper "always and forever."

They always nod, or smile or say "I know" or wink or ignore me.  I know they hear it, they've both said it to me, unprompted, on more than one occasion.

You know what?  I do know how to love, in fact I am pretty good at it.

I'll bet you do, too, and I know you are good at it.  We all have to be.  I think, ultimately, it alone is what separates us from the other animals on this earth.  Well, that and brewing.

From Marci's '...things you don't expect to hear from the back seat...'

"Do bellybuttons suck things in?'

You know what, I've never been clear on that either...

1 comment:

  1. You are a wonderful father, and love is worth more than any other "talent". :)

    and that includes the love you give my sister.