A Proud Papa

On the bus back from school yesterday, my oldest saw one of his friends punching another one of his friends over and over again. He shouted at the puncher to stop, but with no success. When that didn’t work, he went up to the front of the bus and told the bus driver. She broke up the fight, and, in one of the weirdest moves I’ve ever heard of, moved the puncher away from his victim and had him sit next to my son. Fortunately, the boy had apparently spent his rage, and by the time they reached our bus stop, he asking my son if he could come over to our house and play.

The big guy never said a word about any of this to me. I heard about it through the mommy network – the victim told his mom, she told my wife (who is currently in Texas), and she told me last night after the kids were in bed.

I, of course, was thrilled. I jumped on the computer, designed a “Hero Award”, and printed it out on the color printer. I gave it to him this morning over breakfast.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“It’s a Hero Award. See what it says? It’s for you. For what you did on the bus yesterday?”

His eyes widened. “A hero? Like in the shows?”

“Well, did you save your friend from being punched?”

“Yeah! First I shouted to stop, then when he didn’t stop I got the bus driver.”

“That’s what heroes do, kiddo. They help people. That award is yours. You earned it.”

A slow smile crawled across his face, pulling the corners of his mouth back as far as they would go. He bent down to look more closely at the award, eyes glistening. “Look! There’s a medal on it! There’s a medal!”

That smile lasted well over half an hour, finally fading in the car on the way to school.

As he hopped out of the car at the school, I stopped him. “Hey! How about a high five?”

He turned and high fived me. “Okay Daddy.”

I caught his hand. “Have a good day,” I said. “Hero.”

The smile exploded back on to his face and he bounced away, too excited to walk.

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