The Moment the Earth Stops.
Recently my one and only daughter turned 10 years old. And this week we had gone out to dinner, as my parents are in town visiting. And that is when it happened. The earth had stopped spinning altogether on-its-axis. Time had froze. Though it wasn’t an earthquake, or blackhole reversing the space-time continuum, or anything in-between. It was something way more of a magnitude.
Moments before my experience with Einstein’s Law of Relativity all I remember is overhearing a brief discussion between my daughter and her Grandmother about school and her classmates. When Grandma Judy asked a simple question, that somehow, put a screeching halt to all of eternity.
“Is there any boys at school that you like” ?
“Well, there is this one boy named Jack that I like, but I don’t tell Violet that because she likes him. And he even kissed her!” she ended saying in a shocking manner.
Yep, that was it. Milliseconds seemed liked years as I thought to myself how did this dreaded day come so fast? The decade of her existence flashed before my eyes. Ending this mental recap of my baby girl’s days was a highly reverberated voice of her other Grandmother Evelyn’s not to0 long ago statement saying “Pretty soon Jon you’ll have to have the talk about the birds and the bees with her”.
Jumpstarting earth back into orbit around the sun, my only natural fatherly instinct was to slowly wrap my arm around her, pull her in close somewhere between a chokehold and an intensely tight affectionate hug, and utter these softly spoken words of love into her ear.
“Let me ask.. Do you think Jack has ever seen the inside of a toilet bowl before?”
With a hesitant non-reply from this sweet precious child (or if there was one I wasn’t listening) I stared into her puppy dog eyes and added:
“I could show him! In fact I could clean the toilet with his face, scrubbing the gunk off that lives under the rim of the toilet, as well as the bottom of the pot (motioning how I would use a toilet bowl cleaner). Ending with a wedgie. Then I’d probably kick his butt with the inside of my foot, like a soccer player would pass a soccer ball to a teammate. Except I would also be that teammate and turn into a field goal kicker and boot him like it was the 50 yard line in overtime at the Superbowl.”
In all reality what am I suppose to do? As I woke up at 5:50am this Sunday morning and started writing this, for a brief second I figured all I can do is go to church and pray. Then it occurred to me and all became clear. Though church and prayer would help, I also need to take action. Matters into my own hands if you will. I am her father. I can be an exceptional teacher more than anyone. I have the mic and the podium. As do all fathers, by intentional or unintentional means, all have influence. The example I set speaks greatly. The words I speak impact immensely. What I need to do is be a greater influence than anyone or thing in this world.
Remembering back to about the time when she was a toddler getting a running start just to jump into my arms, I recall her mother saying to me something that really woke me up, and has kept me wide-eyed ever since. I will be the first man she ever falls in love with. How do I respond to that responsibility. Or is it simple? What I desire and am set out to do, is love her verbally and affectionately, lavishing her with more and better gifts, talking and spending more time with her, always being there to help, as well as someone to just hug, more than any man (or any punk little boy) could do — raising the bar so high that no one but the best will do for my girl. This isn’t something I just close my eyes and shoot and say I hope for the best. No. This is 1+1=2. Two nickels make a dime. This is tactical. I will aim and precisely shoot down every foe that pops up in this world as if it were war. Because it is war. War on Jack!
So, the next time my mind is racing while the whole universe slows down I will just remind myself of this commitment, this promise, this pledge. I will fight the good fight. And will kick a 4th graders butt if I have to.