Let me remind you who Pat is. He is my sweet, big-hearted, gruff and grumbly Dad.
I visit him at work on occasion. The first question I ask his new co-workers is, “Has he made you cry yet?” This would be the gruff and grumbly part of his personality.
They usually look at me with the tilted head, confused puppy look. Then the next time I see them, they laugh and say, without me having to ask again. “Yep! Or Not yet!”
Pat has a special noise machine he and his male co-workers use to release tension. I’ll say no more about that. And he’s prone to practical joke-ism.
One of Pat’s very special tricks needs no accessories. He possesses a flying knee.
Mom and I have decided there is no purpose for the knee. It seems to be some sort of warning device like the white tail on a fleeing deer.
Here’s how it works: someone trips, or stumbles or teeters, crashes, falls or careens into something – and this somehow triggers the knee to an airborne position. Whether standing or sitting, Pat flies the knee. No one is certain if it’s a panicked warning of impending danger, or if it’s some lame attempt to protect. Even Pat is unsure.
Just like a mom will fling her arm out straight across the passenger seat at a sudden stop, is the reactive knee. And just as amusing as a mom “protecting” an empty passenger seat, or a bag of groceries, is the flying appendage.
Sometimes the knee is an outward, upward thrust, others a sideways swipe. Never backward and never have I seen Pat actually connect or protect anyone or thing from a tumble.
But sometimes the grasshopper-like hop he does is a nice diversion.
Pat maybe really does have super knees. I’ve seen him drive with them. Yep. He steers with them.
So maybe his hip-hop, jump, shimmy knee fling is some sort of directing move. Like a sheep dog guides the sheep with a growl or a nip, Pat wields a knobby hairy leg.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.