Thursday, January 11, 2007

Now I Know

Last month, during our Christmas visit, he picked up the weights, curled them twice while talking, set them down and continued chattering non-stop.

Could I? I wasn’t certain and had to know.

When he was young, we would wrestle, laugh, huff and puff and have a good time. The older he got the stronger he got but he didn’t grow tall. I kept saying “Be patient, you’ll grow.” Finally, I knew it would never happen. He’s 35 now and about 5 feet 9. I’m 60 and 6 feet 3.

As he got into his late teens he began lifting weights and bulking up. We continued playing and wresting and I knew the day was coming when he would win. He put me in pain but I never admitted it. I was middle-aged but bigger and stronger.

He joined the Army and we never wrestled again. He spent a year in Korea and came home looking fitter and stronger than I had ever seen him.

When he set the weights down and continued talking to one of my grandsons, I said nothing but causally picked them up. I lift weights regularly and he seemed to lift them so effortlessly. I had to know.

Actually, it always disappointed me that he never beat me. A father raises a son to be strong and self-reliant. I looked forward to the day when I would lose but it never happened.

I took a breath, got prepared, gave it my all -- and couldn’t do it. Not even once!

I’d like to wrestle with him once again. I’d lose and enjoy it.

5 Comments:

Blogger Buffalo said...

The last time Dad and I went at it I was 17 and he was 71. We boxed rather than wrestled. Truthfully, he boxed and I woke up later with Shep's concerned tongue licking my face.

You know, I really like that memory.

1/11/2007 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger littleone said...

i really liked today's blog... it touched something inside of me and made it smile.

morningstar

1/12/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous pablo said...

The writer John Irving (The Cider House Rules, The World According to Garp) was a high school wrestler and avidly encouraged his son to take up the sport. He often spoke of knowing the day would come when his son would beat him at a wrestling match. I'm sure that eventually happened.

1/12/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

That was a beautiful and touching story. It sounds like you're a wonderful father.

1/12/2007 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger THE Michael said...

Nice story.....however.....sigh......you describe him, at 5' 9" as not having "grown", against your 6' 3".

I could have looked John Paul Jones, the revolutionary naval war hero, in the eyes. We both were/are 5' 3". We both were/are both "fully grown".

1/13/2007 01:13:00 PM  

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