Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Joy of Fatherhood

It was warm for the first time this year as we left the house, headed for an overnighter on the Arizona Strip. Both of us rode saddle mules, while leading a pack mule with camping gear and coolers full of ice cold drinks.  We rode far enough to find a starry night-sky.  Spring's green carpet covered the desert as a token of thanks for an extra wet winter.

My boy did a man's job getting our coolers safely to camp.  Minnie Pearl had her moments, so he learned what it means to get rope-burned hands.  He also laughed at me when I tried to catch her loose lead right as my molly lunged up a hill--leaving me in a backwards somersault into the soft dirt.  As we plodded along, he chortled his 7 year old conversation, and sang--mostly "Ride Cowboy Ride."  He says it is one of his favorites, and he thinks Riders of the Purple Sage sings it best.  His palpable sense of accomplishment when we wrapped it all up the next day animated my manhood .  Ahhhhhh... to be the Sire of fine sons and daughters.  There is no other privilege on Earth that compares.   And there is no high that stacks up to the Joy of Fatherhood.