First, a fictional anecdote: So, there is a car accident […]
First, a fictional anecdote:
So, there is a car accident involving a father and son. The father is killed instantly, but the son survives. He is rushed to the hospital, in critical condition, but the doctor says, “I can’t treat him.” The paramedics scream “WHY, DOCTOR, WHY? HE NEEDS YOUR HELP OR HE WILL DIE!” The doctor says, “I can’t treat him, because he is my son.” Now how is this possible?
I’ll save the answer till the end, if the event you haven’t heard it. Meanwhile, I’ll try and relate it to my little tale, not nearly as dramatic.
I had the kids out for a late spring walk a week or so ago. One of those beautiful days where people are just noticeably nicer to one another, horns honk a little less frequently, and it feels almost impossible to get upset with anyone about anything because it’s so darn NICE.
A woman a couple streets over lingered by her hedgerow when she saw us coming, and just lavished both kids with oogles and boogles. She got HP to smile and gave Bub a dandelion and engaged him in conversation; she was a natural.
She told me all about her kids, one is in high school, it’s sooooo different, I can’t imagine, yadda yadda. She told me how lucky I was and genuinely WANTED me to savor every second of these ages, to remember every nose crinkle and peekaboo giggle and store it away in a maximum security memory facility. She was living vicariously through my kids, and I was totally cool with it.
Then, at the very end, as almost an afterthought, she said:
“So you are giving Mommy a break today, huh?”
No, you antiquated piece of stereotype, I’m raising my children. I’m a man. A man with a double stroller, perfectly capable of all manners of child-rearing (SAVE ONE); it’s kind of what I do. I have references and tetanus shots and everything. I’ve probably changed more diapers than you ever will, not that I’m bragging. I mean, come on, lady, it’s the (Wait, was IS this decade called? I lost track after the 90s), um, 21st century already. Mommy needs to come up over here and give Daddy’s tired A-S-S a break!
But I’m mostly non-confrontational, a trait that stymied my brief foray into professional boxing. Plus, that weather sure was nice. So, instead of all that, I said:
“Yep, sure am. Mommy works so hard, I just wanted to give a little something back. You know, for the family.”
“Aww, isn’t that sweet? And what a beautiful family you have.”
Nice save. Really, though, I’m used to it. Kind of immune at this point. At first my insecurities got in the way, but I have the best, hardest job out there. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Oh, and the answer to the doctor conundrum? The doctor was his mother.