My post about the barn the other day led to some interesting discussion among my friends and family. My Dad wasn't sure I was old enough to even remember the old barn (it was torn down years ago to make way for a more practical pole barn). But I remember that barn so clearly I could walk you through it and tell you a story about almost every nook and cranny. Are memories ever more crystal than the ones you make as a child?
In fact, one of the great joys I remember in that musty old barn was jumping from the loft into my Dad's arms. You know that feeling, right? That complete confidence in another human being. The willingness to leave the relative comfort and safety of a solid loft (or monkey bars or edge of the swimming pool) to leap into the air and into the arms of someone you know would never let you fall.
My Dad was not a giant, but at 6'2" with a natural strength and muscles built during years of farm work and a stint as a brick layer he was as big as any giant I could picture. He also always had an enviable natural confidence about him. He could fix anything, do anything, be anything. Years as a traffic officer must have honed this confidence (anyone who's ever been stopped for speeding can attest to the surreal confidence these officers possess). But, unlike almost evey other traffic cop any of us have ever met, he lacked cockiness, he was just remarkably self-assured.
Growing up I was pretty sure he was the toughest, strongest guy in the world (or at least my bubble). I was always confident in my answer when playground talk turned to who's dad could beat up everybody else's dad....not that I ever saw him fight anyone. I just knew he could handle himself whatever situation came up.
I'm sure my mom is reading this out loud to him right now and he's pooh poohing the idea that he's so great. But as the scaredy-cat little girl who jumped so confidently into his waiting arms a thousand times, I can tell you....he's pretty awesome.