And Then God Created Fathers

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Erma Bombeck

When the good Lord was creating fathers, he started with a tall frame.

A female angel nearby said: "What kind of father is that? If you're going to make children so close to the ground, why do you put fathers up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping."

God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child-size, who would children have to look up to?"

And when God made a father's hands, they were large and sinewy.

The angel shook her head sadly and said: "Do you know what you're doing? Large hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails, or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats."

God smiled and said: "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day, yet small enough to cup a child's face."

And then God molded long, slim legs and broad shoulders.

God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself no longer. "That's not fair. Do you honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?"

God smiled and said: "They'll work. You'll see. They'll support a child who wants to 'ride a horse to Banbury Cross,' or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."

God worked throughout the night, giving the father few words, but a firm, authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant.

Finally, almost as an afterthought, he added tears. Then he turned to the angel and said, "Now, are you satisfied that he can love as much as a mother?"

The angel shutteth up.