I know that I had said that I may not have had the time to put out an all new Father’s Day piece and I was right actually. The only problem was that while getting a few personal things taken care of I found out that I just had to squeeze it in no matter what. Some of my friends know what I have been dealing with for some time and what I have had to do about it and some don’t. I know, I know pretty vague right. Well if I wanted everyone to know I would have told you all, I mean really it’s not like you could have done anything more about it had had you known what was going on at the time. That is not why I am laying here barely able to move while writing this piece. However, in order for you all to understand some of the chain of events that took place this last week you will have to learn about some it so here we go.
I had wanted to take a train from where I was living back to my hometown but with the flooded rivers between the two places it would seem that it just wasn’t meant to be. The only trouble was that with all the waiting I had done made it impossible to buy a plane ticket, something that as I look back on it I should have done in the first place. Why didn’t I buy a plane ticket in the first place? That’s umm well, I guess you could say complicated at best so let’s just say that I was never a very good flier to begin with and leave it at that. Of course that left just one option; to go by bus. Yeah I know not, my favorite mode of transportation either, but it had to be done. I had for all intense purposes decided that the only new piece this month was to be the unpublished one I posted last week, well I was wrong, I found on my seventy four hour plus movement that I just needed to be inspired by something different to change my mind. It matters little about the exact chain of events that brought me into contact with the three people listed in the title, just know that it happened. That’s all that is important .anyway or at least that is all I think is important enough to tell you all. Then why am I taking so long to get to the point, what are you asking me for? If you have read more than one of my posts you realize that I am just this way and that is all you can say about it. In other words I take my own sweet time and I like it that way, well that and I just am not sure where to begin this tale.
I was all ready to just sit down in my seat be a grump ass the entire trip, more because what I was doing was so far from what I wanted to be doing than to be anti-social. The first leg of my journey found me in front of a twenty something girl and her two year old boy. I had also been witness to them in the station while waiting for said mode of transportation what I had seen there was mostly just a high energy not want to sit still boy. What’s that, you’re kidding right, you’re not well I guess if you want to know yeah she was kind of cute too but what that has to do with a father’s Day piece is beyond me but then again you were the one that asked remember. Her day went from bad to worse on the my first leg and thankfully for her especially it was her only leg or maybe it was just the last leg of her journey I can’t be sure as I never did take the time to ask her. As the bus began its journey my mood and the girls’ day continued to go downhill. The boy continued to be the high energy boy perhaps a bit or even too excited for his trip he was easily entertained at first by the ever changing scenery. However it was short lived and began to throw those not so cute fits when learned that just because the bus had stopped it didn’t mean that he couldn’t get off and run around. During these not so cute tantrums that lasted at least twenty minutes he would proceed to slap and punch his mother and not in that playful baby way that really is kind of cute and funny at the time. I began to wonder just where the child had gotten the idea that hitting his mom would produce the wanted effect, yeah I know too but I really didn’t want to go there to find out. Now I told you that part of the story just to set up my mood for happened after she and her boy got off the bus at their stop. I jumped one seat back hoping that I would be more comfortable for the remainder of the night something I would find out in a few hours was just not going to happen. I began to wonder just where the child had gotten the idea that hitting his mom would produce the wanted effect, yeah I know too but I really didn’t want to go there to find out. Now I told you that part of the story just to set up my mood for happened after she and her boy got off the bus at their stop. I jumped one seat back hoping that I would be more comfortable for the remainder of the night something I would find out in a few hours was just not going to happen. It was there that I witnessed a twenty something man board the bus with a baby one younger than had just left the bus. You would be correct in saying that I was not very thrilled at the site of this man and his child, as anyone that has done any traveling can attest to one bad child can ruin your mood for another one so close together. I paid the pair very little attention and finished my night fighting through fits of uncomfortable and little sleep. The following morning everyone was made to exit the bus at a stop so that it could be fueled and serviced. On re-boarding I took the opportunity to find yet another seat that would with any luck, yeah I know there is no such thing as comfort on a bus, find a better seat. I was confronted then by the pair as they sat just a few seats behind me close enough that when he decided to be fussy I was sure to hear it all very well. To my surprise this little man was far from the fussy baby I expected him to be. Sure he would be a little fussy from time to time and let everyone know that he was far from being happy, but these times were short lived. A minute at a time was just about all I or anyone else on the bus heard from him. Of course all the women aboard would give out with the awe’s the sweet talk that you can find from any child loving woman. For this that sixteen month old earned his title of “Little Big Man” at least that is how I began to refer to him as I found myself inspired to write this piece. In every bus station he would get the treatment and you could almost hear the longing in the voices of the teenage and twenty something girls that would look at this little big man. In a conversation with his father a little later in the trip we referred this look and sound to the egg drop. Well we may have also said a couple other things that weren’t quite as PC, but I will save those for another time. It wasn’t limited to just the younger girls there were the older ones that would give the look as well. In their case a loud tick noise would follow after the awe. It wasn’t quite as noticeable and if you weren’t paying attention it could have easily been missed. There were also the grandma types that fell in love with little big man the instant they saw him. One in particular made it her responsibility to be sure that he got milk and even entertained him for a period of time. Along the way of course passengers came and went there were a few other mini dramas that went on as well as a major one but none of these affected us too much except some of our time. There is always mini drama and perhaps another day I will tell you of one of the biggest dramas that happened on the trip, just not today. Somewhere along the way a young man of fifteen came along and attached himself to our little group or maybe it was just me. He seemed to gravitate toward us just the same, us being myself little big man and his father. It could have been only because he recognized us but either way he came around us and I tried to look after him as I was doing for little big man and his dad. We looked out for each other’s belongings and kept each other company as we waited our next connection. To my surprise little dude hovered around us listening as we told or stories and a few jokes. I worried a little that I may have been contributing to his delinquency but just a little. After all where else can a boy learn the jokes to take back to his friends if not from unknown people that happen in and then out of his life? By this time I had been traveling for over forty-eight hours and after having only three hours of sleep and not to mention that I had only eaten once in the last eighteen hours, needless to say I was running a little low on energy. It seemed that his next connection was the same as mine, but kept telling me his left later from the same gate. A quick glance at his ticket and I found that we were in deed going to the same connection. When he set his bag up in front of the gate I asked him if he would do me a favor and take one of my bags and set it with his, just so I would not have to wait too long in line. He grabbed both my bags, that now carried the coveted “Special Handling” tags, thanks to little big mans’ dad, to place with his. I had to smile to myself and wonder just how much of his helpfulness was from his upbringing or because he felt sorry that I was so beat up and sore from my trip to that point. Either way it didn’t matter much the favor was done. While little big mans’ dad waited for someone to come pick him up we asked little dude about his final destination as well as our disgust with missing our connection the first time around. Now when my connection was missed as well as little big man and dad they gave us a meal voucher. Which was perfect considering it was the only time that we were able to eat, that eighteen hour lag between meals was a bit much. It had not crossed my mind that he had missed his connection as well as I had seen little dude paying for his meal until we ran across another of our fellow bus mates that had no idea of where or when her bus would leave. It crossed my mind at that point that he was probably in the same position as earlier he had no idea where he was leaving from as well. Another look at his ticket proved me right and we pointed him to the ticket counter and told him it needed to be changed or they may not even let him ride out on the next bus. Once the ticket and information people talked to him they started escorting him around the terminal and back to his bag and more employees getting involved. I got his attention when he looked my way and held my hands out to see what was happening. He began using hand signals back like I knew what they were, I mean really I know my hand signals but his were way messed up. I walked over to them to find that they were concerned that since he was fifteen and traveling alone he might be a runaway and that he might just miss his bus. I vouched for his as much as I could since I had seen his mom and sister waiting with him before he had initially joined our group of excited travelers. I even told them that I would be sure that he got on the bus because if he didn’t that would mean that I probably would not be on mine as well and that would not have made me happy. With a smile and nod they were happy and let him roam freely around the terminal once again. They were however there at the gate as the two of us shuffled out and boarded the bus.
I know what you’re wondering just what does all this have to do with Father’s Day and where does this Father of the year part fit in? You stuck it out this long just hang on and I will tell you in case you didn’t figure it all out. Little big man’s dad gets the name father of year for everything he did to keep a sixteen month old baby settled happy over the near sixty hours of travel time. From the time they boarded to the time they were picked up I don’t think little big man fussed for more than thirty minutes al together. Sure children and especially babies are going to get frustrated fussy and whatever else you want to call it but when a parent goes to the lengths this one did to help shorten and keep from being so, they deserve a parent of the year award. That is why I kept him for last in this longer than normal piece about Father’s Day. I watched as he sat on part of his seat being un-comfortable himself so that little big man could be all stretched out and comfortable on the seats as he slept. There were many little things that any parent would do while traveling with their children that he did on our journey making sure his son ate before himself being just one of the many. I think however that it was the overall calmness of little big man that showed just how much and how good a father this man was to him. The bond was there that many may think is only that of a mother and child. This was one man that in future would not be the cause for years of therapy. I tip my hat to them and hope to remember them for the rest of my life a tip to little dude as well that he remain a well-mannered young man that leads to a good life.
So to you my friends and family and family of friends I say take his day and let the old man know that you appreciate him in whatever form you may choose. Not all fathers are those that you have links to through biology. Some are by proxy and some only for just a short time, but either way they came into our lives and hoped to make them better if only in just a small way. They succeeded if you remember them making your life better or making you a better person. Forget them not on this day of father’s give them a call send them something that lets them know that you are thinking of them today and every day. Remember too that they are part of the reason you are who you are so grab your glass pour your choice of beverage and offer up a toast to those that are our father’s.