Happy Father’s Day

my daughters and Dad circa 1992
There are plenty of men in this world, but only a few Dads. Men who shun stereotypes, and get up in the middle of the night, to warm bottles, or change diapers. Men who are occasionally baffled, but always fiercely determined to make everything work.

Children are usually easy to understand. When they cry, they are either hungry, tired, wet, or they want to be picked up. However, the whole point of Daddyhood is to prevent them from reaching that point.

When Maxine Cried

I was extremely lucky because Mom worked nights at a nearby hospital emergency room. However I only went once, the night when my (then) seven–year–old daughter Maxine would not stop crying.

Motion Therapy

Anyway, I always tried everything in a certain order. I called my last attempt, which had always worked, motion therapy.

First, I carried Maxine around, with her head resting on my shoulder, indoors and out.
Then I strapped her, and sister Audrey, into car seats, and drove them around the block with an open window.

There was still no improvement. And Maxine would not talk to Audrey or me, so we had no idea why she was crying.

I brought Maxine home, and put her in front of the television, where she cried for another few minutes. Finally, Audrey asked:

“Will Maxine ever stop crying?”

How Long Can You Cry?

Since I could not answer Audrey’s question, I had to admit defeat. Maxine had been crying for at least twenty minutes, and showed no signs of getting tired. I strapped the girls back into the wonderful 1974 Chrysler New Yorker I was driving at that time, and drove Maxine (and Audrey) to see Mommy.

It was a slow night, and when we arrived, Mom was standing outside, chatting with an ambulance driver. Jayne was a highly experienced observer, and her expression was neutral, as I carried still crying Maxine inside.

Jayne pointed to an examining table, and I sat Maxine on it, and stepped away with a concerned Audrey, holding my hand. Jayne lifted Maxine’s chin, so their eyes were level, and said the magic words:

“Take a deep breath”

And Maxine stopped crying!

The Moral of This Story

Sometimes you need a Mommy too!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to everyone, especially parents who do not see their children, because of divorce, or custody issues.