Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Father's tale, told once more...


"Trust me, you do not want to anger the Papa Bear!"
I have decided to re-post this article from last year. I am sure that most Father's have a tale about raising their kids which really sticks out in their mind. The following story is mine.
When I look back at the things I did to my two girls as they were growing up, there were definitely some things I might like to take a "do over" on. I have a memory of most of things I did to, or for, both of my girls - unfortunately at times, so do they.

I think the one story that first comes to light is something which happened with my oldest daughter. It occurred somewhere during the time she was in the 4th or 5th grade. I had taken a day of vacation to do some things around the yard. My wife was at work, so I was able to meet my daughter when the bus dropped her off after school.

Before I go further in this story, a bit of background. My daughter had begged for months to get a Anoka starter jacket. It was really the craze at school. Starter jackets were a junior version of a letter jacket. For her birthday in August, we went down to the local sports store and I bought one for her. Not only did we buy the jacket, we also had her name stitched on the front. It was the bomb - it quickly became one of her most prized possessions.

School started and she waited patiently (well, not too patiently) for a day cool enough to wear her new jacket. Finally, that day came. It was the day I took off work to do some yard work. She was so excited, she could hardly wait until the bus came to pick her up. Later that afternoon, the bus came to drop her off. She got off the bus with tears rolling down both cheeks. I went up to meet her and she collapsed in my arms sobbing. "He spit on me Dad! He spit on my new jacket".

I looked on her jacket and saw what she meant. Now in my younger days, I was a bit more of a hothead than I am now. I saw red - I mean, I really saw red. I went from zero to more pissed than I have ever been in my life in less than two seconds. I threw my daughter in the car and we took off after the bus. I think I might have broken every speed law in the neighborhood, but I finally caught up with the bus.

What happened next was like slow motion. I threw the car in park just as the bus stopped. I was already in a dead sprint when the bus door opened. I knew who this kid was, so finding him would not be hard. I flew up the two steps of the bus before any kid had the time to even get out of their seat. The look on the driver's face was nothing less than "shock and awe". The old sailor, the ass chewer in me, came back to life. I quickly found the kid and yelled "Stand up!". He stood in front of me and I chewed him up one side and down the other. Spit was coming out of my mouth like a faucet. My face was the color and temperature of lava.  It was a spectacle that most Marine drill instructors would have been proud of. I dare say this might have been the most scared this kid had been in his young life. He was about one inch away from peeing in his pants. I got off the bus, got back in the car and drove home, trying my best to cool down.

I fully expected to receive a visit from the Sheriff after that burst of bad behavior on my part. But I did not. Nothing ever came of it. With both of my girls, in all the years of growing up, I can safely say that was the only time I really lost my temper. Was it a proud moment in my life - not really. Was it a moment I regret - not really.

Sarah Palin often talks about the power of the "Momma Bear". My response is not to forget the "Papa Bear" can also be a force to be reckoned with - especially when his cubs are in danger or mistreated.

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