Monday, July 26, 2010

A Better Man Than I

It was later in the evening, darkness had overtaken the battlefield of my backyard so the imagination moved indoors.  Enjoying the company of out-of-town guests while their children played with mine.  He is 2, rowdy, adventurous, and difficult to slow down, much like his father, except he is a better man than I.

A clear ball with liquid and sparkles inside that lights up with the brilliance of fireworks when bounced makes its appearance into the play field.  Linc bounces it, watches it, smiles, and wants other to enjoy seeing it as well.  He goes to the older of his new friends to show its magnificence.

I am standing there as this happens, my son holds it out saying, "Look at the awesomeness of this round object my father once gave me" right about the time the older tries to take it!  Linc pulls it quickly back to his chest with a look of confusion on his face and I speak up, "Lincoln's playing with that right now, you can have it later when he is done."

I keep an eye on what could be the action, Lincoln holds his ball, enjoying its sparkles, but it needs to bounce to illuminate the eyes, so he drops it, waiting for the return to his hand and the brilliance of the light.

It never returns.

The moment it leaves his hand the older boy attacks it like a hungry dog on a T-bone, looks up at me and walks away.  The color of red explodes inside my chest and my son looks at me again with a confused look on his face and says in a soft, hurt voice, "I want the ball."

I kneel down, take him firmly by the shoulders, look deeply into his eyes and respond . . . I need to clarify here, perhaps this wasn't the best fatherly advice but he needed to defend himself, my 2 year old.  My response to him,

"Go get it back"

Curiosity turns to what I hoped was determination but honestly was more hesitation as he looked at the boy, walked to him, and asked for it back but was denied.  Defeated he comes back to me and restates his plea, "I want the ball."  You would think I would have learned but no . . .

"Go get it back."

Linc returns to the boy, asks again, is rejected again and trots back over to me, slower this time.  I can see in his face thoughts and I wonder what they are, how will he respond?  Like me and pounce?  He stops in front of me, looks at me and with all the sincerity in his voice of a boy who cares more about others than himself responds to my adversity . . .

"We have to share."

I am fighting back emotion now perhaps even more than in the moment.  A pride in my son burst from me like lightning from a heat storm.  I grabbed him up, threw him (he loves that), and gave him a big hug.  I found some candy and gave it to him, being sure that the older child, holding a boring ball, watched us enjoy the delicacy

I know, I didn't get the lesson there, but that's why I say my son is a better man than I.  He makes the extraordinary seem normal.

My son is an Ordinary Warrior.


  1. I have waited to post this until now because today is my sons birthday. He is 3, and teaches me more everyday.

  2. happy birthday!
    cool moment...and mine teach me so much as well...

  3. Way to go AC! If it was a soccer ball, you would have had to pick that older boy up off the ground!! That's good stuff...