I often explain to Atticus that God has made men strong so that we can use our strength to serve, protect and provide for others. This conversation usually takes place because Atticus has used his strength to bully one of his siblings into getting what he wants. As the oldest and strongest, he can physically accomplish most of his desires regarding property rights and his siblings. I say this all by way of preface to set the stage for the story I’m about to relay.
So the other evening, Atticus and Penelope were wanting to play bunk beds. Sounds innocent enough since they have actual bunk beds, right? Well, their version involves me pretending to be a bunk bed as seen HERE. Penelope was on the bottom bunk and Atticus was off and on from the top bunk. After a while my arms got a little tired and I got a little bored ,so I pretended to collapse upon Penelope. I did not actually collapse, but I did kind of squash Penelope a little in a playful way. She played along and said, “Stop squishing me! Be a bunk bed!” Then I felt a tiny hammer on my hands. Then I felt it again and again. I looked up and observed Atticus punching my hand with his tiny fists.
I returned to regular bunk bed mode and jokingly said, “Atticus, why did you punch me? That hurt.”
He replied, “I’m sorry Daddy, I love you.”
I naturally responded, “If you love me, why were you hitting me?”
He answered, “I love Sissy (Penelope) too and I didn’t want you to hurt her anymore.”
What could I do?
I extended the proverbial high-five and told him I was proud of him.
“Good job!” ended the altercation.
I love being a dad.
Yeah, was there a teachable moment in there about not hitting your dad? Probably.
But I was proud to see him rising to defend his sister.
He used his strength to protect someone weaker, but attacking someone who was stronger.
He displayed selflessness and courage.
And to that I tip my hat.