A nice walk outside has never failed to teach me something about life. Sometimes I learn a new little nuance of the world. Other times I learn that if you let your guard down, your two year old will choke you for fun while your hands are occupied tying their shoes.
Everyone needs to go for a “walk” sometimes and get away from the responsibilities that nag at us in the daily grind. Pat and I go on a yearly vacation with the four guys we lived with in college. We bicker and we moan and we love every moment of it. Why else would we keep doing it?
For a couple of days, the Dad Brothers are a plane ride away from their children and pretending they’re the same age as when they met. Meanwhile, Pat is wheezing up stairs and I am complaining about the restaurant booth hurting my back. Needless to say, we were the life of the party.
In college, we strove to be the life of the party. No one wanted to be the first one to go to sleep. Now, I want to take a nap and tell my pride to get back with me when I wake up. Having never been to Denver, CO., we were warned to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. I knew Pat would do neither of these things, so I nagged him relentlessly because he sweats like a shower and listens like my two year old.
I tease because I care.
Pat did great the first two days. On the third day, we got roasted in the bleachers of a baseball game. Our buddy Miller noticed Pat slumping. Since fake fainting resides in Pat’s comedy arsenal, we told him it wasn’t believable and to stop messing around. He did not answer. Pat was never that good of an actor.
When the paramedic told us how low his blood pressure was, I feared for my friend’s life. I didn’t care that my friend had not listened to me, I cared only that he was alright. A friend is a person who is willing to accept you as who you are, not what you are not. We should all be so lucky to have some of those.
As the IV’s started to take effect Pat mumbled, “Maybe I should have drank more water?” I shook my head and knew that he was going to be alright. Sobering experiences like that make me think of my responsibility to be the best dad I can be, for as long as I can be. I snapped a selfie with my stubborn friend to always remind him that taking care of himself does not mean, don’t have fun. We all make mistakes and hopefully there’s a true friend there to embarrass you when it’s your turn.
Losing the cushion of youth only affects those who have trouble seeing it go. Fathers have a responsibility to their children to be present and walk alongside them as they learn on the paths of life. Stand tall for them, so they have something to walk towards.
When the Dad Brothers go out walking they hold their heads up high.
For more of the Dad Brothers, click here.
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