Fortunate Son

What a privilege to carry...


We were up early, the two of us. I fixed bagels with vulgar amounts of cream cheese while she got dressed, straightened hair, gathered her things. We left the house in time to drive through Starbucks, 'grande Chai, please Daddy.' 'Alright, but you'll have to whizz like a racehorse not five miles down the road.' She grins. She's in a speech tournament today, all day long, on a Saturday...still, she's bright-eyed, happy. We pull up beside the yellow dog she'll board for the host school, she leans over on my shoulder, a gentle good-bye, I kiss her hair and inhale the scent that's left me for years now a man undone. 


As I drove away I was suddenly misty, kensho, an awareness of the utter privilege it is to carry a child in this world. Not all moments bring this clarity mind you, but this one did. There is much I've to do today, the ten thousand things - continue to chip away at a mammoth writing project, fill up cars with gas, dispense antibiotics to the dog I've spent ungodly amounts of money on lately, try to get a four or five mile run in before the snow begins again, call my parents, and so on and so forth. But of all these things, and all are vital in their own right, the spots of time where I carry my children are those I truly cherish. I used to carry them, literally...now, all of us slightly older, I carry in different ways...my fathering looks and feels a little different. Still, what a privilege...


To finish the phrase, so to speak, I did - everything to God in prayer. I prayed for my middle girl as I drove away, my twelve-year-old wobbling the slackline these days between girl and woman. I prayed to the God from whom all blessings flow, the One who art in heaven and is also always near...I asked for her safety this day while she's beyond my view and for her safe return (the universal parent prayer)...and I said thank You for the privilege, thank You for the chance, thank You for the divine roll of the dice on me, the bet that occasionally I would see and know the privilege...I am a fortunate son.      

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