Every now and then, there comes a moment when a father must pass on to his son what knowledge he has gained in any given area. This is one of those times.
My son approaches me, looks me in the eye, and implores me to show him how. It’s as if he knows the wisdom and knowledge that I have stored inside me and he yearns to acquire this knowledge. I am the wise sage and as I ponder whether he is worthy of such knowledge, his earnest pleas fall upon my ears like a gentle rain and I am powerless to protest such an innocent thirst for knowledge.
I give gentle instruction by showing him how it’s done and then teaching him how to repeat my movements. I’m unsure if his little hands can sum up the power and coordination for such a dexterous move. He struggles and flashes a look of frustration at me as I work to assure him that the difficulty he’s experiencing is normal. After all, no one can learn something as momentous as this without fumbling a little in the beginning.
Verbal instructions soon become increasingly insufficient. I am forced to place my hand on his and guide him towards his goal. I show him how to cup his hand and where to place it for maximum effect. I position his other arm just so to maximize the angle. We practice a few times to no avail. He is getting more frustrated and I, while trying to exude an outer calm, begin to wrestle my inner emotions and doubt of his ability at such a young age begins to form in my mind.
I step back and as I do so, he gives it one more try.
His perfectly round eyes jerk up to meet mine. Wonder and excitement fill his face and as our gazes lock we both let out a scream of delight and joy! We slap a high five and a bond is shared between father and son that can never be taken away. I smile at him – proud of his accomplishment and the moment hangs there like stray bubble on a warm Saturday at the park.
Then, just like that, the moment is over. But the memory of my son’s first armpit fart will last a lifetime.