The son said his feet hurt from walking to the bus stop on the corner. The father inhaled deeply, revving up with, “Well, y’know, when I was a boy ...”
And the father proceeded to tell a story from his youth that had him walking five miles to and from school, uphill both ways, in a mixture of desert climes and snow-covered wastelands. The son’s walk to the school bus, p-shaw, what was the boy’s walk compared to that?
The son said he was not happy with his newest toy. The father inhaled deeply, revving up with, “Well, y’know, when I was a boy ...”
And the father proceeded to tell of how in his youth he had to unlace his shoes and tie the laces together to make a jump rope, a rope ladder, a swing, an imaginary train set and then he had to scrub the shoe strings clean before lacing them back into his shoes for school the next day. The son’s toy, p-shaw, how wonderful was the son’s toy compared to the father’s shoe strings?
The son complained that his supper was undercooked. The father inhaled deeply, revving up with, “Well, y’know, when I was a boy ...”
And the father proceeded to tell how in his youth he had to eat cabbage stew 10 nights a week and, to make it last, the cabbage head was placed whole in a pot of water and he had to eat the broth. And, since there was no heat from the stove, he had to eat his cabbage stew cold, which essentially meant he ate cold water for supper. The son’s supper of meat, potatoes, carrots and peas, p-shaw, what was that compared to cold cabbage water?
The son said he wasn’t happy watching a TV show. The father inhaled deeply, revving up with, “Well, y’know, when I was a boy ...”
The father proceeded to tell a story that in his youth he had to cut a hole in a refrigerator box and tie his shoe laces inside the box, then hope for a breeze to move the shoe laces. That was his TV, by golly. The son’s unhappiness with what was on 50-some channels, p-shaw, have you tried being entertained by a limp shoe lace fluttering in a box?
Then, one day, the son sat crying, and the father asked him what was wrong? The boy said several of his classmates had picked on him at school for some thing or other. The father sighed deeply, and slowly said, “Well, y’know, when I was a boy ...”
The father told the tale of an awful thing that had happened to him as a boy, and how everyone had pointed at him and laughed, and how this event had hurt his feelings and made him sad.
For once, the son agreed with his father — that was much worse than what had happened to him.
The son asked, “Well, what did you do?”
The father answered, “There wasn’t much I could do, so I made the best of it. Kept my head up and eventually it passed.
That is all any of us can do is make the best of what we’ve got.”
Again, the son and the father sat silently for a moment, then the father said, “Things do get better, if you let them.”
And the son wiped his eyes and smiled at his father. And the father smiled back. What was anything from his past compared to the love for his son?
Dean Poling is an editor with The Valdosta Daily Times and editor of The Tifton Gazette.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.