It’s that time of year. Everything’s green. Birds are busy everywhere gathering dog fur for their nests. The dandelions have gone to seed. They look harmless, right? But I remember a day back in Madison, WI, when they weren’t so fluffy and cute. I had my son Whit at a local park and the grass was filled with them. He was probably about 4. I showed him how to blow the seeds into the air and when he grabbed a handful he somehow just shoved them into his eye and the seeds just stuck there—lots of them. Of course, the little hard ends with the seeds were very painful. He started screaming and clawing at his eye and I started my heart attack. I grabbed him up and tried brushing them out with my finger but he screamed more and fought me with his little flailing fists.
Running, I carried him back to the car hoping my wife Gwen had left (as she always does) a water bottle in the cup holder so I could flush his eye out. No such luck. So there, in the small cramped privacy of our car I cradled him in my arms, restraining his arms, and brought his face close to mine so I could suck the seeds out of his eye. It took a few minutes but finally he was ok.
On this day, I salute all father’s who’ve ever had to improvise and suck things out of their children’s eyes.