Herb Loveman would often exclaim “If you see a Jew with a hammer in his hand, he’s selling it.” We’d laugh, of course, knowing full well it wasn’t quite true.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Will stood in the rain and spoke of his father. Ducked under the tent, he was at that moment, no taller than kid brother Mitch.

“When I was in the second grade,” he said, “Dad told my friends he’d wrestled alligators. I guess we all knew it wasn’t true.”

Chuckling a bit, gripped in bittersweet, our friend continued: “My father was a carpenter. He didn’t only build homes though, he built lives.”

It was hard not to be moved…hard not to think.

Glancing up to the red in Bobby’s eyes (Stu stood behind), I heard not a word that followed. My heart, you see—no, make that my mind—was busy racing, busy asking: indeed, what kind of carpenter was I ? What foundation did we provide? What bedrock did the brick and mortar of my imperfect life construct?

There’s no handbook for being a parent; it’s not a science. We do the best we can with what we have…

And pray…

Pray that our kids take the best from each of us, leave the rest to each of us…and that they too grow up to be carpenters.

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