Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Trust and Obey (don't write about the song) (05/21/15)
- TITLE: Trusting the Father
By Cindy Duncan
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I did not know the man at the pool, could not tell you his name, or where he was from, but I knew that I wanted to be like him. He wasn’t at the pool alone, but was accompanied by a little boy named Preston, who was, according to my estimation, about the age of two. I knew his name was Preston because his father had used it at least twenty times in the past two hours. With a loving but authoritative voice, he would call Preston to eat his snack, to stay away from the deep end, to put on his floaters, or to come get another layer of sunscreen.
Preston was an obedient child, with seemingly unlimited energy so typical of his age group. I have to admit, even though a part of me misses having a two year old, I was happy to be on the observing end of this interaction. Even though my two children are teenagers now, I remember how exhausting being the parent of a two-year-old was. I’m not sure I would have tackled the job of bringing mine to the pool without my wife’s help, like this father has done, but from what I have seen this morning, he is a master at fathering.
“We only have ten minutes left, Preston, before we have to go home for lunch. Before we go, though, I want you to jump to me,” said the father. Preston was standing on the side of the pool, while his father was just inside of it, waiting patiently for his little boy to get the courage to jump.
“But Daddy, I’ll dwound,” whined Preston. Fear was spilling out in the tears leaking from his crystal blue eyes. He was pacing along the edge of the pool, with a nervous, anxious energy.
“You won’t drown,” said the father, “because I’ll catch you.”
Preston thought for a minute, then replied, “sometimes when I frow you the ball, you don’t kech it.”
“Son, come and sit on the edge, and listen for a minute,” the father calmly commanded. As Preston shyly obeyed, I leaned a little closer. I wanted to hear what the father had to say, without being an obvious eavesdropper.
“Preston, have I ever told you to do something that hurt you?” asked the father.
Preston quietly shook his head.
“Do you trust me? Do you believe that I love you, and that I’ll help you?”
Preston nodded, and with his chubby two-year-old palms, wiped the tears from his eyes. With a newfound confidence, he stood, and with his eyes locked to his father’s, he jumped. As his father grabbed him and pulled him up out of the water, his face was transformed from fear to joy.
“Again, Daddy, again!” he exclaimed.
For the next five minutes, until they left the pool, Preston jumped, his father caught, and I watched. As I watched, I marveled about what a good father the man was, and how the son loved him and trusted him completely. I thought about my own children, and wondered if I could learn something about fatherhood from what I had witnessed this morning. As I was questioning my own abilities to parent, I heard a still, small voice saying, “Trust me like Preston trusts his father, and I’ll help you be a better man, and in turn, a better father.”
This is a fiction story.
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