Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Winning personality

photo credit:  Deborah Berrett

Several days ago I was making dinner and I asked Mark to set the table.  As he was shuffling chairs into place, he noticed they could use tightening.  He went to the garage and quickly returned with the wrench he uses for tightening the chairs (Mark = chief chair tightener).  He got down on the floor and started tightening screws, humming to himself.

"You're going to be a good husband and a good dad someday," I said, "you are good at keeping things in shape and fixing things."

He said, "Fixing things is what will make me a good dad?"

"Yes," I said, "The whole time I was growing up, I knew my dad could fix anything and I loved that."

He said, "Hmpf.  I thought it was going to be my winning personality that made me a good dad."

******** 

Tomorrow is actually the first day of school but Mark (with the winning personality) is going to the 7th grade day today.  It's also sophomore day at the high school.  Emma went last year to sophomore day.  When I dropped her off, she looked like she wanted two and only two things in life.  1) To kill me.  2) To dance on my grave.

Luckily I know that Emma's terrified face is barely discernible from her drop dead face.  Her naked fear sort of broke my heart but I soldiered on then like I will today in the face of sending Mark.

What comforts me is that yesterday Emma, the same girl who was nearly paralyzed by her angst and terror last year, went to the school with her friends just to walk around and find their classes.  This was not really necessary but they did it for a reason to get together and to meet the new French teacher (the assessment is that she's nice).  Then Emma called and asked if it was OK if they went to the mall.  Why not?

Resilience in any form is inspiring.

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