Noah and Max keep getting bigger. But Pa is still bigger.
When they stand at his feet, they must lean backwards to find him.
He is steadier than a mountain and as safe as a house.
They might fall down, break a cup, run away, cry hard: Pa has already done all of that.
Pa might build a shed, fix a fence, mend a fight, pick the fruit: they are ready to watch all of it, breathing hard and absorbing the information.
Two small boys can cause a great deal of chaos and a great deal of noise. Pa doesn’t notice it.
Noah and Max might throw things, smash things, strike out, bite down and refuse to sleep. Pa doesn’t notice it.
Pa might take apart the mower, make a cake, drain a tank, wrap a birthday gift or clean the carpet and they always watch with their mouths open and their little hands holding on, receiving the information.
They will never be too heavy to hold on Pa’s knee and he will always be covered in sand, dust and grease from the engine of the day.
Max and Noah might refuse to eat, refuse to dress, refuse to look. They might choose to dance. They might prefer to build a house or push one down.
Pa understands all of it.
There is nothing stronger in this world than gentleness.