I'm pretty much a guy who gets along with everyone. That is, until you mess with my children.
Such the case last week when I took my oldest daughter, age 7, to a local park for some batting practice. You see, she plays on a 8u softball team and she needed to work on her hitting.
Everything was going according to plan -- I'd pitch, she'd bat and little sister would retrieve the balls. Then the dogs came.
Out of it seems like nowhere, two medium-sized dogs (I think one was a labrador retriever) were quicky approaching my 7-year-old slugger and they spooked her.
Despite my cries of "Don't run!" she sprinted toward me and cried "Daddy!"
Sure enough the dogs chased her down and ran into her, knocking her down. That's when I picked her up, dusted her off and looked for the target of my rage.
The dogs' owners were standing there looking at us, leash in hand, and I let them have it.
"We have leash laws, ya know?!" I yelled at them.
They put one of the dogs on its leash and apologized. At this point I was seeing red and told them that they needed to put both dogs on the leash since there were softball teams and from what I could tell, at least one other youth in the park practicing.
They apologized again and I noticed that the larger of the two dogs ran away from them and they began following it.
My daughter, still shaken by the whole experience, was standing beside me and crying. I consoled her and told her that the reason she should never run from a dog is that it will think that she is playing and run after her.
She calmed down a bit, but not enough. Our practice was over.
What was supposed to be a fun time practicing with my daughter was cut short because she no longer wanted to be in the park with the dogs and was too upset to focus on her batting.
I was upset to.
I don't like turning into a beast and bringing it to someone, but I will when I have to. It's what fathers (and mothers) do.
Now that it's Easter, this incident in particular has made me look past the Easter Egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, Peeps (I love those things) and ham/lamb dinners.
I think about how hard it must have been for God to sacrifice his only son to the world for the sake of mankind. He loved us so much, that he gave us his only son.
How many of you mothers and fathers out there would do that? I certainly wouldn't. I could never imagine it. If anything, I would give my life for my children, but that's just me.
It makes me think of the many people out there who can't be with their children during Easter because of incarceration, death, they are serving oversees in our military or a variety other reasons and I pray for them.
I also think about those who are less fortunate -- the people who have no eggs to hunt for, no Easter baskets to wake up to, no ham/lamb dinners waiting for them and most of all, no faith or love in their hearts. I pray for them as well.
For God to have given us his only son is something remarkable. And so in 2012, I am entering Easter with renewed respect and adoration for the Man upstairs.
Wishing you and your family a very happy and safe Easter.