As I lay in bed this morning I felt little feet and soft skin pressed against my calves, and some not so quiet whispering.
“But Dad, won’t you ground me?” Alexander asked.
“No, I’ll buy you a present.” There was a long pause while my boys both let the news sink in. “If you ever have another boy say anything bad about your sister to her your face I want you to punch him as hard as you can, right in his face. Got it? Then you come home and tell me and I’ll buy you a present.” My husband asserted to our little one.
“Okay, so you’ll buy me a present after I’m grounded?” Alexander sounded confused.
“No son. I won’t ground you, there are two times you get to hit first. If someone says anything bad about Jews and if a boy says something bad about your sister to you. Then you punch them and you get a present.”
I couldn’t agree, and I couldn’t disagree so I laid in bed listening to what fathers tell their sons when mothers aren’t listening.
Our boy is named Alexander after my Grandfather Adolf who flirted with death by telling the guards at Sachsenhausen that he had worked and should now be free. He was the meanest, toughest, scrappiest man I’ve ever met and I’m thinking he’s delighted by my son and my husband today.