The Pen

In church, I sit on the aisle seat. Across the aisle, one row forward, sat a father (approx 6'6" in height) also in the aisle seat, with his two very young daughters seated next to him. Somewhere during the announcements, the children are instructed to get out of their seats and head to their respective Sunday School classes.

Dressed in their frilly pink dresses, and cuter than a button, both attract a lot of attention as they, with great effort, noisily climb (what must seem to them like Mt. Everest) over the long lanky legs of their father. The first girl reaches the aisle and runs towards the back as her younger sister (best described as a "knee-nibbler") struggles to negotiate the knee terrain.

After much effort, she proudly reaches the aisle and pauses to survey the number of people who are now looking at her, no doubt enjoying and celebrating her accomplishment and moment. Clasped in her right hand is a rather expensive silver pen.

The father extends his palm out and says, "Give it to me."

Somewhat confused by his request, she turns in a 360 degree motion as though in slow motion, both hands raised in the air, pen tightly held, looking for a clue from any onlooker as to discern what her father wants.

The father extends his palm a bit further, and once again (but more firmly, yet still gentle) says, "Give it to me."

Somewhere during the 2nd iteration of her turn, her face lights up, a big smile crosses her face, and in a moment of epiphany, she understands with clarity what her father is asking of her.

With her left-hand she grabs the pen from her right hand. And then without hesitation, winds up her right-hand, and in a full downward motion plants a loud, echoing, and no doubt painful 'high-5" hand slap onto the extended palm of her father.

With pen in hand, she rushes down the aisle to follow after her older sister. The father, hand still extended and throbbing, with a sheepish grin lifts his eyes to survey the number of witnesses who are now laughing uncontrollably. With head tilted down, and with determination, his imposing frame rises from the chair and he too heads down the aisle.

Moments later, like a proud hunter with his prey, he returns with the silver pen grasped tightly in his grip. Acknowledging the admiring spectators with a smile and gentle nod of his head to each, he sits down to enjoy the rest of the service.

We all smile.

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