I am indebted to my son Joshua Nelson Platt who inspired this
Joshua my son and I stroll together slowly through the rolling green
meadow talking as we casually flip a frisbee back and forth between us.
Joshua points at cows. "That's 'Chocolate'. She's 'Pancake'. I'll call
her 'Chocolate Milk'. That one is 'Patch'. And that's
I love his sense of humor. Our laughter echoes off the rock formations
and vaporizes my concern that I still haven't reconciled my checkbook
with last month's bank statement.
We walk to the edge of the meadow and down to the river. This is the
first time I've shown him the river. He's literally beside himself with
excitement. He sits down on a smooth sunny rock next to a pool with
tadpoles. He can't take his shoes and socks off fast enough. He
carefully lays them on a dry spot then gingerly steps through the
eddies, his arms whirling around like mad helicopter blades trying to
avoid ending up in the icy water.
I caution him "Joshua I have no dry clothes for you. If you get wet
you'll be soggy and cold all the way home.". Of course the warning
falls on deaf
He's too engrossed in a piece of moss, a newt, ripples caused by either
a fish or a frog, and I realize my warning isn't for him: it's for me.
Eventually his toes start to turn blue and he comes over to me to put
his shoes and socks back on. I kneel down in front of him, remove my
sweatshirt jacket and dry his feet with it. "Dad" he says "don't do
that. Your jacket will get wet.". "Yes it will Josh" I tell him "but
then your feet will be warm and dry and soon after that my jacket will
be dry again. This is what Dads are for.". He looks up at me with
nothing less than total adoration.
The moment is so rich that I lose all concern for the pile of paper and
new incoming tax information back on my desk which I haven't attended
to in about a week.
We gather firewood from beneath the oak trees which adorn the hillside
This is primal, basic survival. Want warm? Got wood? Loaded with the
bounty we amble back toward the cottage. Joshua spots a couple of
jackrabbits which he oohs and aahs about. I
notice a coyote cresting the hill although it doesn't seem to notice
the jackrabbits. I point it out to Joshua. A couple of frolicking
chipmunks add to his wide eyed enjoyment. He takes my hand in his as he
walks, balancing his oak bundle on his shoulder. "I love this place
Dad. We did nothing today but I had the
It is a priceless comment, enough to totally distract me from a looming
mountain of legal work.