Kickass, the doorstop dog, says the keeper is so far removed time-wise from his days of parenting that he thinks he must have done a pretty fair job since there is a minimum record of incarceration among his offspring and the expanding clan. Over the years he watched as sons and then grandsons embraced their own fatherhood, showing a degree of involvement that made the keeper feel as if he might have been riding the bench during the big game. Did he ever even change a diaper? But then he remembers the good times, of endless adventures—more than a few of them including the excitement of impending disaster, and always providing the raw material of priceless memories, at least for him. He likes the one of canoeing down the Wisconsin with two sons and getting his ankles so sunburned he could not walk and had to be rescued. Then there was the time he forgot the framework for the family tent camper on a trip to Door County and had to whittle poles from illegally harvested park vegetation while the family waited out a rainstorm in the station-wagon. These things come up in family discussions, as they do at everyone’s family gatherings, and dads, like the keeper, laugh with the others at what was and wish they had been involved in more, except, of course for the diapers.
(See billstokesauthor.com for more Kickass and news of the novel MARGARET’S WAR.)