The Snow and the Surprising Strength

OK, the snow may be beautiful, but it is not fun!  I took this picture from the kitchen this morning when there were only 19″ on the ground. We are headed for 30″or more.  

Enough snow was shoveled in the back yard for the dogs to have a space for their “business,” and then the “shovelers”  headed inside for a scary movie by the fire.  

Chippy, however, wanted to roughhouse with the old man, so always being ready to take on a male challenger, I removed the glasses, carefully, and got down on the rug.  

He turned 13 last month and is still small for his age, but something was different as we rolled around trying to pin each other.  For the first time, I needed my full strength to hold him down, to make him say “Uncle,” which, of course, he never means.  

I remember how my father’s strength both scared and fascinated me.  I still like to tell the story of how he tried to rip the door off a taxi in front of the Waldorf Astoria in NYC after a driver had refused to slow down. Dad’s elderly mother — we called her ‘Nana’ — had arrived from San Antonio to see Rex Harrison in “My Fair Lady.”  

The cabbie driving from LaGuardia ignored my father’s pleas, then orders, to slow it down. When they arrived at the hotel, Dad got my grandmother and her luggage out of the cab, paid the driver, then gripped the passenger door and bent it back against the car. With the door hanging by one hinge, they went inside, as my father told the doorman to call the police if the driver tried to follow him in.  

Then the day came when I could match my father in strength, if not in courage, and the time came when I realized the latter was far more important.  

Chippy, for now, simply delights in shaking off his father’s grip, something he could never do before. Yet, at thirteen, he still wants to sit in my lap while I rub his head and scratch his back. This is a moment in both our lives marking a beginning and an end. His sudden strength signals that childhood is ending, the young man is emerging. With my 60th just past, I can no longer avoid the description of being “older.”

God willing, I will be here long enough, like my father was, to help my son discover the courage to guide his strength. 



Deal W. Hudson is ​publisher and editor of The Christian Review and the host of "Church and Culture," a weekly two-hour radio show on the Ave Maria Radio Network.​ He is the former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.

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