Four-year-old Murray stood on the step stool his dad had made for him to reach the bathroom sink and concentrated on the mirror above it. I dipped the comb in water to part his hair and tame a cowlick. Knitting his brow, he asked, “Mom, why don’t you part it like Dad’s?” Tremendous self-control kept me from bursting into gales of laughter. His father had gone bald in his early twenties before Murray was born.
In other ways, that little boy did follow his dad. Catsup was a favorite vegetable. He “helped” his dad with home repairs, handing him tools as needed. Since I was always in the choir, his father taught him to sit quietly in church, primarily by modeling the behavior he expected. By the time he was in second grade, Murray wanted to take piano lessons and was soon making music like his dad.
As he has become a father, the similarities have multiplied. There’s the winter command to his children, “Close the door, we’re not heating the whole outside,” and its summer counterpart that refers to air-conditioning and cooling. He grills a tasty hamburger and has a well-stocked toolbox. My favorite reflection of his dad is his pride in his children’s accomplishments – Lauren’s track and photography, Brittany’s art and culinary skills, and Jack’s Lego constructions and BMX racing success. And yes, he now also parts his hair “like Dad’s”!
A happy Father’s Day to Murray, to his role model, to the two Marks, and to all the other fathers who are setting an example in life and hairstyles.