My family and I live in the house where I grew up. My parents live in the house where my paternal grandparents used to reside. There is a field between the two houses; a field that I have traversed countless times throughout my life.
Walking to and fro from my house to my grandparent’s house as a child wasn’t bad during the day. Their driveway was where our basketball goal was located. If my brother and I wanted to play, we had no choice but to make the walk.
It was at night that the walk became more treacherous. Or at least it felt that way as the moonlight conspired with the trees to create an eerie atmosphere of impending doom.
The nights when the moon and stars were hidden from view were even worse. Just thinking about walking between the two houses in total darkness was usually all that it took for the waves of fear to crash down upon my fragile young psyche.
I remember being terrified of walking home from my grandparent’s house in the dark as a young child. I also remember the one thing that could assuage the trepidation and make me feel secure.
Holding on to my father’s hand.
Now, three decades later, I am the one who my children trust to keep them safe when we walk back from their grandparent’s house in the dark. As they reach their hands upward to take hold of mine, I can sense their fear as I use the light from the moon and stars to look into their eyes.
I wonder if my eyes once looked the same way.
I wonder if my dad cherished those moments as much as I do now.
I wonder if my children know how much I love them.
(Did you have a father who was willing to hold your hand on some dark paths? How are you doing in holding the hands of your children as they make their way through life? Share away!)