Several years ago I wrote a little Father’s Day article for my dad and called it “Working Man Hands.” This year I took the opportunity to lengthen and improve the article and then submitted it to Boundless Magazine. They were pleased to print it at their site. I thought you might enjoy it. It goes like this:
Like most little boys, I idolized my father as a child. You would have had a difficult time convincing me that there was anyone smarter, faster or stronger than my dad. I really did believe it when I told my friends “my dad can beat up your dad!”
And it may well have been true.
Dad was a landscaper, after all, and for eight months of every year he spent just about every waking hour hauling loads of soil from his truck to the gardens and heaving enormous rocks to make sure they looked just right. Though this took an obvious physical toll on Dad, it left him stronger than an ox.
I loved to wrestle with my dad. With my sisters I used to yell, “Can we beat you up tonight, Dad?” But when we used to stage our little battles, we could make no headway against him. Though I would run at him and hit him with all that I had, even with a full head of steam I could not knock him off-balance. With my three sisters swarming around him, hanging onto his legs and wrapped around his neck, we were still no match. He would grab us with his rough, leathery hands, give us a whisker rub with his day’s growth of beard, and toss us aside like we were barely even there.
I’ll never forget his hands — those rock hard hands. They were working man hands…