There is a steady drum beat of text and phone calls that are blowing up my phone.
They go something like this.
“I got it,” they say.
IT is Covid-19 and IT is hitting epidemic levels with people close to me. The total is six. Two others report being in close contact with someone who had Covid-19. They are being tested to see if they have the disease.
There is a waitress, a humanitarian, two friends from the old neighborhood, the sister of one of my daughter Celine’s former soccer teammates. One is a relative. A niece.
The niece may have caught it at a Halloween party at Michigan State University. Upon learning she had Covid-19 her dad immediately put together a care package and drove up to deliver it. Celine, who is deathly afraid of the disease, questioned why the dad would go in harms way and deliver the package.
He could catch the disease.
The answer is easy. That is what dads do. At least that is what we are supposed to do. We must protect our children, sooth them, comfort them, hold their hands and make sure they are OK no matter the dangers to the dad.
One moment that still haunts me happened when Celine was a baby. She got a bad ear infection and cold that kept her up at night. She coughed and wheezed. And snot tumbled out of her nose like Niagara Falls. She could barely breathe.
I grabbed a plastic turkey baster and squeezed snot out of her nose and gave her pink medicine the doctor gave to us. Still, Celine gave me a sad look as if to say “dude help me. Do something here.”
It was all I could do. I felt terrible that I could not make things more comfortable for her. Kobe Bryant made the term girl dad famous. Of course we must also be boy dad, dog dad, cat dad and house dad.
Today, the boy and I will finish racking the leaves in the back yard. Afterwards, I plan to treat him to ice cream and talk about school.
If a gun fight breaks out on the street the dad must throw his body and blanket his child to make sure they are OK. We must pray that the bullets don’t strike and that they fall harmlessly to the ground.
We go to their soccer matches and cheer when they score. We take them to see Sesame Street. We go to dance recitals and say it was the best performance I’ve seen in a while even though half the group forgot steps in mid performance.
You laugh during the school play when your daughter is supposed to be dead but is whispering lines to help out fellow actors who forgot their lines.
You help with home work, listen to them cry after the first break up. You help them with the finishing lines of the senior class speech. And you stand in the middle of a college campus crying like a baby after dropping them off their freshman year.
Being a dad does not stop after school. Celine is moving to Chicago next fall. I look forward to moving her into her apartment and giving her advice on being a young lady in a big city.
That’s what a dad does. He enjoys the great moments, but more importantly he is there for down times.
Covid-19, bullets, bad weather, financial problems. Nothing stops dad.Find Terry Foster Podcast here: