To my son Tommy,
As you and I were headed out the door this morning, I turned and asked your mother, "Is it trash day or recycle?" For some reason the concept of Tuesdays and Thursdays for pickup I understand but which day is which always escapes me. It frustrates me.
I heard that same frustration in your mom's voice as she said, "Trash" for probably the 250th time in our five plus years of marriage. In fact the only one who was excited about taking the trash out before I took you to school was you.
"I can do it daddy!" you demanded as you nearly barreled me over bolting out the door. This whole having a kid thing was starting to have tangible returns, besides of course the love and pride and all that mushy stuff I talk about normally. But this! Well this is special, like the first time you could hand me the remote. Your lazy old man won't be this proud again till you learn to pop the top off a beer bottle and bring it to me. I kid, I kid.
"Awfully heavy...You sure you can handle this?" I asked seeing three bags stuffed into one can.
You almost seemed offended as you said "I got it". Then you started wheeling this trash can to the curb. You were doing alright till you got to the steps on the sidewalk. That is when the plot line turned to a story of struggle and triumph. Slyly I picked up the back end and got you through your obstacle. I had just let go with only one step left, in what turned out to be perfect timing, when you looked back because you had an inclination that you were assisted. I looked away as if to check the street for oncoming cars and watched you through my peripheral vision. Not seeing any signs to the contrary, you determined that you successfully accomplished your task on your own and started beaming with pride.
"Good job with the trash can. It makes daddy proud when you help out the family." I said as I buckled your seat. Alluding to your struggle at the steps, I added, "You know, if something is difficult, it is okay to ask for help."
You looked at me with that Irish grin of yours and said, "I know daddy. It's okay if you ask anytime."
I chuckled and thought to myself..."Smartass."
Sincerely with love from your dad,