Holiday Weekend

Eye level, for a four-year old, or five-year old? Or for a pair of mix-and-match brothers, not quote twins but close enough to wonder about the wife’s birth control, the two little boys, as boys will be boys? Eye level for them is the first level in a coffee shop’s cooler.


“You’re going to have to share it with Mike, okay?” Pause. “Here, let me just hold this for you,” he says, spinning on his heel to catch the other boy as that child tries to reach a coffee pot, then the first kid grabs at a bag of Ethiopian coffee beans. Dad spins around again, slowly, almost painfully, explaining that the coffee beans aren’t something that the child is interested in.

The dad, nicely attired in khaki slacks, a 100% brushed-cotton button-down, and a dark red sweater with a single white snowflake worked into the shoulder with a hint of white trim, looks the part of a dad. Modern dad. Modern dad who isn’t too familiar with how to handle his two sons.

He dodges another customer, weaves to one side in a practiced motion, steers the older son by a gentle, fatherly palm on top of the head. Spins around again to watch the younger one drag a hand through the cooler, helpless as a row of water bottles topple.

Step around the amateur dad, who, surprisingly enough, isn’t losing his cool. Order up. The dad finally corrals both boys, still steering the older boy and finally, the dad gives up. Surrenders. He catches the younger boy under his arms and lifts him to ride on the dad’s hip. Not exactly macho, but then, anyone who’s ever tried to ride herd on children at holiday time?

Hats off to dads.

Step to one side.

“Okay, boys, Mike, tell the lady what you want.”

The younger boy, from crawling to water-bottle toppling, suddenly seems shy. Buries his face in that snow flake on the sweater.

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