It was the first truly hot day of the season last week, more than ninety degrees outside (of course, next week it will be back in the sixties. Gotta love the midwest!). My poor tot had been trapped in the house for so many days due to illness and cooler weather, I just had to let him out to play. We pulled out some swim trunks, sunscreen and the sprinkler.
He had a great time running and splashing in the water. He brought his cars outside for a "bath" and made a game of tossing them by the sprinkler and then running in to the spray to "rescue" them. Every so often he would run over to me, dripping wet with some request or other and I (not wearing swim apparel) did my best to keep him at arms length to avoid getting soaked secondarily.
Eventually, my husband came home and dinner needed to be started. So, he fired up the grill and I proceeded inside to husk the corn. My husband was still in his work clothes and was keeping an eye on Ben while trying hard to avoid a lot of drippy contact with our sprinkler kid.
At some point, Ben decided he needed more toys to play with and came to the door to get them. Of course, he has been repeatedly warned to stay off the cement stoop and not to play with the door, but naturally he forgets that within moments of hearing it. So he was climbing the stairs to pull open the door and he slipped and fell on the concrete stairs. He fell "tummy first" so no head injury or major damage, but it scared him and he started to wail. I was still in the kitchen and ran for the door just in time to see my husband drop what he was doing and scoop up our soaking wet son in his arms.
I don't know why but I felt overcome with emotion. Knowing my husband the way I do, knowing his strong preference for staying clean, for having things in order. And seeing his instinct to be there for Ben and to comfort him when he needed it most, no matter what the circumstance. I couldn't think of anything to say other than "you are such a good dad."